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Cresco, IA | Rushford, MN (8 a.m. March 23, 2017)— MiEnergy Cooperative was one of 11 electric cooperatives awarded the Cooperative Purpose Award by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). The award is given for outstanding contributions to improving the quality of life and purpose of the cooperatives in their communities.
In 2013, Southern Minnesota Energy Cooperative (SMEC) was formed by 12 electric distribution cooperatives to be the single point of contact for the purchase of Alliant Energy’s Minnesota electric service territory. SMEC engaged their local communities and business leaders through a grassroots campaign to educate them on the cooperative advantage. In 2015, the acquisition was finalized and SMEC welcomed more than 43,000 new members into the cooperative community.
“The 12 cooperatives of SMEC perfectly exemplify the sixth cooperative principle, cooperation among cooperatives,” said Mel Coleman, NRECA president. “I applaud SMEC for their perseverance, leadership and concern for community.”
The award was presented at NRECA’s 75th Annual Meeting in San Diego on March 1 with more than 5,500 representatives from electric co-ops across the nation in attendance.
MiEnergy Cooperative is a member-owned electric distribution cooperative and is the result of a merger between Hawkeye REC, of Cresco, Iowa and Tri-County Electric Cooperative, of Rushford, Minn. in 2017. It maintains 5,700 miles of power lines covering most of Fillmore, Houston and Winona counties in Minnesota and Chickasaw, Howard and Winneshiek counties in Iowa. The cooperative also serves small pockets bordering those counties. It provides electricity to more than 18,600 members in northeastern Iowa and southeastern Minnesota. MiEnergy is a Touchstone Energy Cooperative.