Southern Minnesota Energy Cooperative Wins NRECA’s “Cooperative Purpose Award”

SAN DIEGO — The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) today presented Southern Minnesota Energy Cooperative (SMEC) the “Cooperative Purpose Award” for outstanding contribution to improving the quality of life and the purpose of the cooperatives in their community.

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 Minnesota electric service territory from Alliant Energy. SMEC engaged their local community and business leaders through a grassroots campaign to educate them on the cooperative advantage. In 2015, SMEC’s vision became reality as the cooperative welcomed more than 43,000 new consumer-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.”

NRECA recognized the 12 SMEC Member Cooperatives:

More than 5,500 representatives from electric co-ops across the nation are attending NRECA’s Annual Meeting celebrating its 75th Anniversary. The meeting runs from Feb. 23 through Mar. 1 in San Diego and sets NRECA’s legislative and organizational agenda for 2017. Co-op representatives also hear from NRECA officials, key public figures and business experts about issues affecting electric cooperatives and their consumer members. The Annual Meeting is held in conjunction with TechAdvantage, a technology learning event and expo that features more than 280 exhibitors showcasing their state-of-the-art technologies, equipment and services.

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is the national service organization that represents the nation’s more than 900 not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric cooperatives, which provide service to 42 million people in 47 states.