Great River Energy’s (Elk River, Minnesota) most recent financial forecast includes expenditures of nearly US$4 billion over the next 10 years, primarily for power plant and transmission line construction projects.

“Great River Energy is entering a long-term period of expansion of our transmission and generation facilities to meet the growing energy needs of our member cooperatives and to ensure system reliability,” says the organization’s President and CEO David Saggau.

To effectively manage these new projects, Great River Energy, Minnesota’s second largest wholesale power supplier, has reorganized key staff to ensure the most effective organization for these projects and to continue to successfully manage its project partnerships with other utilities.

As part of this reorganization, Terry Grove was named director, regional transmission development. Grove will co-lead the regional CapX 2020 effort with Laura McCarten of Xcel Energy, providing executive level leadership to assure the successful permitting, siting and construction of CapX projects. CapX 2020 is a regional effort focused on transmission infrastructure investments over the next 15 years.

Gordon Pietsch was named director, transmission planning and operations to ensure the development and operation of a safe, reliable and efficient bulk power transfer system to serve Great River Energy’s 28 member cooperatives and other transmission customers. Great River Energy currently owns and operates more than 4500 miles of transmission line in Minnesota.

Wayne Hanson was named director, Minnesota generation. Hanson oversees the operation of half of Great River Energy’s power generation capability, including more than 1000 MW of natural gas and biomass power plants. He also will oversee the development of combined heat and power projects in the state. Combined heat and power systems (also known as cogeneration) produce electricity and thermal energy in a single, integrated system by capturing the heat that is typically released during the generation of electricity.

“Additional personnel changes have been made throughout our organization to ensure that Great River Energy best meets its members’ growing energy needs and continues to reliably operate our generation and transmission system,” adds Saggau.