Agency dedicates Owatonna Energy Station

Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency hosted an open house Wednesday, August 8, 2018, to dedicate its new 38.8 MW Owatonna Energy Station. The generation facility is the most recent addition to SMMPA’s power supply portfolio, and it replaces a facility that was damaged by the 201 Straight River flood.


This is the second energy station owned and operated by SMMPA. In 2013 the Agency built the 25 MW Fairmont Energy Station.

Our Commitment To Sustainability

Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (SMMPA) and its 18 member utilities are committed to environmental stewardship and sustainability. Our efforts in this area range from using energy wisely, operating our facilities in as efficient a manner as possible, controlling emissions and diversifying our generation portfolio.


Click here to download our comprehensive brochure which highlights some of the activities that are part of SMMPA’s overall commitment to sustainability.

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. 

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