Freeborn-Mower Co-op acquires Alliant Energy
Published 9:00 am Sunday, August 2, 2015
Albert Lea area Alliant electric customers are now member-owners
Freeborn-Mower Cooperative Services, along with 11 other electric distribution cooperatives, have completed the acquisition of Alliant Energy’s service territory in southern Minnesota.
As of Friday, all Albert Lea area Alliant Energy electric customers are now member-owners of Freeborn-Mower.
“I’m very excited,” said Jim Krueger, president and CEO of Freeborn-Mower Cooperative Services. “This is a new chapter, not only for our co-op but for the 12 co-ops involved.”
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In 2013, the 12 cooperatives formed Southern Minnesota Energy Cooperative as the single point of contact for the purchase of electric service territory in southern Minnesota from Alliant Energy. 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 total acquisition of all 12 cooperatives cost $127 million. Krueger estimated the Freeborn-Mower portion to be about $43 million or $44 million.
The acquisition transfers about 43,000 electric accounts to local cooperatives. For Freeborn-Mower, the acquisition means an increase of about 15,000 members, equaling a combined territory of about 21,300 members.
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, Taopu and Twin Lakes.
Krueger said Freeborn-Mower Cooperative Services has taken on 18 former Alliant Energy employees, and he is excited to see what the two workforces can come together to accomplish.
“We hope to continue the same level of service that we’ve provided to our current rural membership, and bring that to all of the communities we’re going to serve in Freeborn and Mower counties,” he said.
According to a news release, all of the cooperatives’ new member-owners were mailed a transition guide, letter and postcard with their cooperative’s contact information. They can expect to receive welcome material with further information from their cooperative by mail.
Krueger said early to mid-week customers should get their final bill from Alliant Energy. People interested in signing up for special billing programs must contact the cooperative.
Freeborn-Mower Cooperative Services can be reached at 1-800-734-6421 or online at fmcs.coop.
Alliant Energy initially announced plans to sell its natural gas and electric systems in Minnesota in September 2013.
Minnesota Energy Resources in May began providing natural gas services to Albert Lea area residents.