Alliant Energy sell-off continues; Deal to sell gas customers closed as state approves electric sale

Published 8:56 am Sunday, May 3, 2015

Rural Mower County residents have a new natural gas provider and will soon have a new electricity provider as well.

The state approved Freeborn-Mower Cooperative Services’ deal Thursday to acquire Alliant Energy’s 3,900 electrical customers in Mower County, and Minnesota Energy Resources closed a deal to purchase Alliant’s natural gas customers in Mower and southeast Minnesota.


Freeborn-Mower is part of Southern Minnesota Energy Cooperative, a group of 12 participating co-ops. The local cooperative’s combined territory will serve approximately 21,300 members, a 255 percent increase.

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“It’s a culmination of about three years of work, negotiating this deal and going through the public utilities commission approval process,” said Jim Krueger, president and CEO of Freeborn-Mower Cooperative Services. “It was a historic day for our co-op [Thursday]. To be able to add 15,000 new members to our co-op, we’re excited about that.”

Krueger anticipated the purchase price for the Freeborn-Mower portion of the transaction to be between $38 million and $39 million.

He said the cooperative looks forward to adding the new members and serving them at the same level as its current members.

The Public Utilities Commission is expected to issue a written order on the transaction in three to four weeks.

“We’re awfully close now,” Krueger said. “We can see the finish line.”

Though the timeline for the switchover to Freeborn-Mower is uncertain at this point, he anticipated it would not be before early fall.

Natural gas

Minnesota Energy Resources began providing natural gas services to Alliant’s former clients on Friday.

The change includes former Alliant customers in Adams, LeRoy, Lyle, Rose Creek, Taopi, Albert Lea, Clarks Grove, Conger, Geneva, Hollandale, Glenville and Wykoff.

The communities involved in the transaction are all within 25 miles of existing Minnesota Energy Resources communities.

“It’s a good fit for us,” Minnesota Energy Resources Senior Manager of External Affairs Jeff Larson said in a press release. “We were already doing business in the area and we can provide safe and reliable natural gas service to these customers without significant adjustments to our staffing.”

Minnesota Energy Resources is a subsidiary of Chicago-based Integrys Energy Group Inc. Customers are expected to receive additional information in the mail from Minnesota Energy Resources regarding programs and services.

Alliant Energy initially announced plans to sell its natural gas and electric systems in Minnesota in September 2013.

Customers can contact Minnesota Energy Resources at 1-800-889-9508. Freeborn-Mower can be reached at 507-373-6421.