Freeborn-Mower, co-op group finalizes service sale

Published 10:30 am Friday, July 31, 2015

Freeborn-Mower Cooperative Services and 11 other area energy cooperatives have finalized their acquisition of Alliant Energy’s electric service territory in southern Minnesota.

“It is a very unique situation for electric cooperatives to have the opportunity to purchase service territory from investor-owned utilities,” Jim Krueger, president and CEO of Freeborn-Mower Cooperative Services, said in a press release. “Further, it is the first time to our knowledge that several – we have 12 – electric cooperatives have banded together to acquire new service territory.”

The 12 cooperatives came together in 2013 as the Southern Minnesota Energy Cooperative to transfer Alliant’s electric distribution business to the cooperatives.

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The sale, announced in September 2013, was estimated at $128 million.

Freeborn-Mower gained the most customers out of the deal, more than tripling its size from 6,000 to about 21,300 customers.

Cities added to those Freeborn-Mower already serves are Adams, Albert Lea, Alden, Brownsdale, Conger, Dexter, Elkton, Emmons, Freeborn, Geneva, Glenville, Gordonsville, Grand Meadow, Hayward, Hollandale, LeRoy, London, Lyle, Mansfield, Maple Island, Myrtle, Oakland, Rose Creek, Taopi and Twin Lakes.

The more than two-year process of acquiring the territory involved receiving approvals from the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, Iowa Utilities Board and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The acquisition transfers about 43,000 electric accounts to local electric cooperatives.

Minnesota Energy Resources provides natural gas to former Alliant clients after Alliant filed for its sale in February 2014. Minnesota Energy Resources is a subsidiary of Chicago-based Integrys Energy Group.