SMMPA to hold Dedication Open House for New Owatonna Generating Station

The Owatonna Energy Station, the most recent addition to SMMPA’s power supply portfolio, began commercial operation on March 16, 2018.  The organization is inviting the public to a dedication open house to be held on August 8, 2018 from 1:30-3:00 p.m. at the facility located at 2884 W. Bridge St. in Owatonna, MN. 

 “We are pleased to have this new facility on-line, providing reliable and cost-effective energy to our eighteen member utilities,” said Dave Geschwind, SMMPA’s Executive Director and CEO.  


Construction of the $40 million plant began in October of 2015 and was completed in early 2018. The plant’s four natural gas-fired reciprocating internal combustion engines provide superior flexibility and an ability to rapidly increase or decrease production, providing an ideal complement to Minnesota’s increasing amount of intermittent wind and solar generating capacity.

As part of the dedication open house, SMMPA will offer refreshments and tours of the new plant. 

SMMPA and its Members Partner With ENERGY STAR’s Laundry Campaign

Clothes washers that have earned the ENERGY STAR® deliver superior efficiency and performance by incorporating advanced features that make cleaning easier and more effective while saving money on your energy bills.


You can save even more with a utility rebate!


SMMPA member utilities offer rebates of up to $100 on the purchase of new ENERGY STAR clothes washers.  Rebate forms are available by clicking here and selecting your utility.


Clothes washers that have earned the ENERGY STAR use 25% less energy and approximately 33% less water than standard models and use a variety of sophisticated cleaning methods that deliver on performance while being gentler on your clothes.  Learn more and get guidance choosing the right clothes washer for your home here.

Rochester Public Utilities Former Director of Power Resources and Customer Relations Receives Individual Achievement Award

Walter "Wally" Schlink, former Director of Power Resources and Customer Relations at Rochester Public Utilities (RPU) in Minnesota, received the James D. Donovan Individual Achievement Award at the American Public Power Association's national conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. This Award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the electric utility industry and to public power.

Wally began his public power career working on the front lines as a journeyman maintenance technician. He became Director of Power Resources and Customer Relations at RPU. Wally's roots allowed him to relate to employees at all levels while instilling a sense of pride and commitment to customer service. He was active with the Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (SMMPA) and served on many working groups. He also served on the American Public Power Association's board of directors and chaired the Association's DEED board and its Engineering and Operations section.

"We congratulate Wally on this well-deserved recognition of his contribution to the broader public power community and also thank him for his significant contribution to SMMPA," said David P. Geschwind, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of SMMPA.

Wally retired from RPU in March of 2018, leaving a legacy of mentorship and collaboration.

SMMPA makes significant progress in reducing its carbon footprint

The issue of climate change is increasingly in the news and SMMPA is asked what it has done to reduce its carbon footprint.  In cooperation with its eighteen member utilities, the answer is quite a bit - as in 5.5 million tons of CO2 reductions since 2005.  Learn more about SMMPA’s specific actions in a new brochure titled:

Our Commitment to Sustainability – Reducing our Carbon Footprint

Rating Agencies Affirm Their Ratings on SMMPA Bonds

The three major credit rating agencies, Moody's Investor Services, Standard & Poor’s (S&P), and Fitch Ratings, have affirmed their ratings and outlook on the Agency’s debt.   

  • Moody’s: A1, Stable outlook
  • S&P: A+, Stable outlook
  •  Fitch: A+, Stable outlook

In each case, those ratings are the highest single “A” rating available from the various rating agencies. 


The A1 rating by Moody’s reflects “the sound security provisions provided under all requirements, take-and-pay power purchase agreements with credit worthy participants, the weighted average credit quality of the participants in the A rating category, SMMPA's essentiality to municipal electric utilities, and high levels of liquidity,” Moody’s said in its report.


If you would like to read more about what the rating agencies have to say, visit the Financials section of our site.