Transmission line problem affecting four cities
MiEnergy Cooperative members served by the Lewiston, Rushford, city of Rushford, Wilson and Witoka substations have been experiencing an unusual number of blinks in the last few days. Every time the power blinks it is affecting approximately 3,600 residential and business accounts in the cities and rural areas of Lewiston, Utica, Rushford and Stockton.
Data is showing the blinks are caused by a transmission line issue. As a distribution cooperative, MiEnergy relies on generation and transmission companies, commonly referred to as G&Ts, to power its substations. It then distributes, as a distribution cooperative, the electricity to its members.
MiEnergy has notified its G&Ts, Dairyland Power Cooperative of La Crosse, Wis., and ITC Midwest of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, of the momentary faults and they are working to determine the problem.
“We are doing everything we can to assist in pinpointing the problem,” stated Brian Krambeer, MiEnergy Cooperative’s president/CEO. “We understand the frustration by our members, particularly our business owners that rely on us to provide reliable power.”
Krambeer is adamant that a rumor of the blinks being related to the merger of Tri-County Electric Cooperative and Hawkeye REC is untrue.
“Both cooperatives have made significant investments in the past to maintain a reliable electric distribution system and continue to do that as MiEnergy Cooperative,” said Krambeer. “Any notion of this situation being related to the merger is false.”
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 Northeast Iowa and Southeast Minnesota. MiEnergy is a Touchstone Energy Cooperative.