Program Feb. 22: Avant Energy (power supplier to Chaska)

Rotarian Matt Podhradsky introduced David Niles, VVP of accounting and finance for Avant. Avant generates and transmits electricity for the city of Chaska. Chaska is one of a doz-en Minnesota cities that run its own electric utility. Chaska manages lines above and below ground and manages the service to residents, including outages. Since 1995, Chaska has been part of the Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (MMPA), and provides power for MMPA member cities. Niles said MMPA has a mix of conventional and renewable energy sources, and as the cost of energy storage continues to decline, MMPA will invest in more renewal energy sources. MMPA has renewable energy plants (wind, bioenergy and solar) in Blooming Prarie, Sauk Centre, Le Sueur and Buffalo. Conventional energy plans are operated in Faribault, Shakopee and Chaska. Chaska’s Minnesota River Station is known as a “peaking plant,” which operates only when there is high demand for power and purchasing from the energy market is too expensive. Currently, MMPA’s energy mix is 17 percent renewable. Residents and businesses have the option to purchase renewable energy for 50 per-cent, 75 percent or 100 percent of their own electricity. About 5 percent of Chaska residents currently participate in the renewable energy program which is less than a year old. To learn more go to: