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.

Agency Signs 100 MW Wind Contract

Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (SMMPA) recently signed a power purchase agreement with EDF Renewable Energy (EDF RE) to buy 100 megawatts (MW) of wind energy from the Stoneray Wind Project in Minnesota beginning in 2020.


Thanks in part to recent transmission upgrades throughout in rural areas of Minnesota, this project, located in Southwestern Minnesota was propelled forward. Construction is expected to commence in early 2018 on the nearly 50 wind turbine project, with hopes of having the facility commercial operational by December 2018.


The project should boost the local economy by bringing an expected 150+ construction jobs and 10 long-term, full-time positions in addition to the millions of dollars in economic benefits to the local area.


“Stoneray Wind is a big addition to SMMPA’s diverse renewable energy portfolio,” said SMMPA Executive Director and CEO Dave Geschwind, . “We’re glad to be working further with EDF RE to provide more Minnesota wind energy to our Members and economic benefits to southern Minnesota through this important project.”

Former Owatonna Mayor receives APPA honor

Thomas Kuntz, mayor of Owatonna, Minnesota, received the Spence Vanderlinden Public Official Award at the American Public Power Association’s national conference in Orlando, Florida. This award recognizes elected or appointed local officials who have contributed to the goals of the American Public Power Association.

Mr. Kuntz spent 31 years with Owatonna Public Utilities in Minnesota before retiring in 2003. That same year, he was elected mayor of Owatonna. Having already been an active participant in American Public Power Association events, he redoubled his efforts from the perspective of a local policymaker. Mr. Kuntz joined the Association’s Policymakers Council in 2006 and served as chair in 2015 and an ex-officio member of the Association’s board of directors. He also served on the board of directors for PowerPAC—the Association’s political action committee. Regionally, Mr. Kuntz is active with the Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency, serving on its board from 1997 to 1999 and as its president from 1999 to 2001.

Schoenherr named SMMPA Chief External Affairs Officer

Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (SMMPA) has named Christopher P. Schoenherr as Chief External Affairs Officer.  Mr. Schoenherr joined SMMPA in January of 2015 as Director of Agency and Government Relations.

“We are happy to recognize the contribution Chris has made to our organization in his first two years by naming him an officer of SMMPA.  Chris joined our team to fill the open spot created by the retirement of the person that had done an outstanding job in that position for years.  With Chris in that role now, we haven’t missed a beat and the outstanding work continues,” said David P. Geschwind, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer.

Prior to joining SMMPA, Mr. Schoenherr was a member of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s cabinet serving as Deputy Secretary of the Department of Administration.  He spent the first thirty years of his career in various capacities at two different Wisconsin investor-owned utilities.

SMMPA Annual Report Wins National Award

The American Public Power Association (APPA) selected Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (SMMPA) to receive one of its Excellence in Public Power Communications Awards. The award was presented at the APPA Customer Connections conference in Nashville. The 2015 SMMPA annual report received the Award of Excellence, APPA’s highest award for public power communications. SMMPA's Manager of Communications and Renewable Energy, Dan Hayes accepted the award on SMMPA’s behalf.


SMMPA’s 2015 Annual Report, which was distributed in April of 2016, takes a unique approach to telling the story of SMMPA and its Members.  In the style of graphic novels, the cover illustration portrays a fictional SMMPA character as an action hero who represents all Member communities.  Inside, each spread features a 3-panel scene with rapid-fire dialogue.  The report grabs attention with unconventional graphics and a creative writing style to complement the graphics.


Submissions for the APPA awards are judged on the following criteria:

  • Well designed, visually engaging, creative
  • Aligned with organization’s core brand and mission
  • Customer-friendly, sharing useful resources and information
  • Relevant, engaging, action-oriented content — text and graphics