SMMPA and its Members Partner With ENERGY STAR’s Flip Your Fridge Campaign


Now’s the Time to Flip Your Fridge and Save!  Recycle that old energy wasting refrigerator and replace it with a new ENERGY STAR® certified model.  You’ll save energy and you can save even more with a utility rebate!


SMMPA member utilities offer rebates of $25 on the purchase of new ENERGY STAR Refrigerators, plus an additional rebate to pay for recycling your old working refrigerator.


Rebate forms are available by clicking here and selecting your utility.


Refrigerators that are 15 years or older use twice as much energy as a new ENERGY STAR certified refrigerator.  Replacing that old energy-wasting refrigerator with a new ENERGY STAR certified refrigerator could save you more than $300 in energy costs over the next five years.  Learn more and get guidance choosing the right refrigerator for your home here:


Flip Your Fridge to ENERGY STAR, the simple choice for energy efficiency!

SMMPA Members Earn APPA Safety Award of Excellence

New Prague Utilities Commission, Owatonna Public Utilities, and the City of Saint Peter have earned the American Public Power Association’s (APPA) Safety Award of Excellence for safe operating practices in 2018. 


The utilities receiving this award have proven that safety is of the utmost importance in the operation of their companies.


Entrants were placed in categories according to their number of worker hours and ranked based on the most incident-free records during 2018. The incidence rate, used to judge entries, is based on the number of work-related reportable injuries or illnesses and the number of worker-hours during 2018, as defined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

SMMPA Members Recognized by APPA for Reliable and Safe Service

The following five SMMPA member utilities earned the Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3)® designation from the American Public Power Association (APPA) for providing reliable and safe electric service:

  • Austin Utilities (Diamond Level)

  • New Prague Municipal Utilities (Gold Level)

  • Owatonna Public Utilities (Diamond Level)

  • Rochester Public Utilities (Diamond Level)

  • City of Saint Peter (Gold Level)

The RP3 designation, which lasts for three years, recognizes public power utilities that demonstrate proficiency in four key disciplines: reliability, safety, workforce development and system improvement.


Criteria include sound business practices and a utility-wide commitment to safe and reliable delivery of electricity.

EDF Renewables Announces Commercial Operation of Stoneray Wind Project

EDF Renewables North America announced today that the 100 megawatt (MW) Stoneray Wind Project (Project) is fully operational.  Located in Pipestone and Murray counties in Southwestern Minnesota, the Project consists of 39 wind turbines manufactured by Siemens Gamesa.  The electricity generated by the project will be delivered to SMMPA beginning in 2020 under a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).

The expected electricity generated at full capacity is enough to meet the consumption of up to 47,000 average Minnesota homes.  This is equivalent to avoiding more than 300,000 metric tons of CO₂ emissions annually which represents the greenhouse gas emissions from 64,000 passenger vehicles driven over the course of one year.

Vice President, Development-North Region, Kate O’Hair, commented, “We are grateful for the community and landowners who backed the development of this project for several years.  This level of long-standing support, along with the State’s favorable regulatory environment, excellent wind resource, and advantageous transmission expansion, is vital to bringing wind projects to operation.”

EDF Renewables will perform asset management services, balance-of-plant, and 24/7/365 remote monitoring and diagnostics from its San Diego-based Operations Control Center (OCC) during the equipment warranty period.  Following the warranty period, the contract will expand to include all asset management, and operations and maintenance services to ensure operational performance, equipment availability and reduce downtime.

Stoneray marks EDF Renewables’ twelfth wind project developed in the state and brings the total of projects to over 1.6 GW demonstrating the company’s commitment to investment, involvement and employment in Minnesota.

SMMPA Member Generation Units Work Overtime During Polar Vortex

Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (SMMPA)’s member municipal utilities’ local generation units played an important role in keeping the lights on during the recent cold weather brought on by the Polar Vortex. With natural gas in short supply in certain areas of the state, these diesel or dual-fuel units operated nearly nonstop for 30 hours beginning early Wednesday morning.

“These are smaller units that generally don’t run that often, but when they do, they play an important role in contributing to both local and regional electric reliability,” said David Geschwind, Executive Director and CEO of SMMPA. “Our member utilities and their employees are to be commended for being able to quickly respond to the need and working some long hours to operate these units in adverse conditions.”

SMMPA members Blooming Prairie, Grand Marais, Litchfield, Mora, New Prague, North Branch, Preston, Princeton, Redwood Falls, Saint Peter, Spring Valley and Wells have local generation that responded to the request from the electric grid operator, the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), to generate electricity as many power plants that use natural gas to produce electricity were unable to operate due to natural gas curtailments because of the high demand for natural gas for heating. Collectively, SMMPA members ran 43 local generators on diesel fuel to help keep the electric grid operating reliably.

“It’s more common for the generating units at our members’ power plants to be called upon on the hottest of days in the summer, but clearly they are as valuable in the coldest days of the winter,” says Geschwind. “In either condition, human health can be at risk, so the professionalism of those power plant operators in a time of need is very much appreciated.”