Watts News
 Published for the members of North Itasca Electric Cooperative
VOL. 17 NO. 9  -  September 2014

Community Solar Opportunity 

by Jared Echternach, CEO

GRE installs solar panels at headquarters facility

Great River Energy, North Itasca Electric’s wholesale power supplier, has recently completed construction of a 250-kW solar array at its headquarters facility in Maple Grove. The project will measure the performance of different panel technologies, assess the benefits of a variety of inverters and document lessons learned while designing, permitting and installing the solar array. In addition, the project will count toward GRE’s state-mandated renewable energy requirement of 25 percent renewables by 2025. Currently Great River Energy produces roughly 12 percent of its generation from renewable sources.

The project is intended not only to increase renewable energy capacity, but also to learn more about solar energy and integration into the distribution grid. GRE will also gain an understanding of how solar technologies will affect our business in the future.


Co-op Connections Business Profile

Little Turtle Lake Store 

by Sally Sedgwick

When Theresa Pederson decided to buy the little store at the corner of Highways 6 and 286 in Talmoon, she knew what it would be like to run a convenience store. Her working career had been spent in that retail field.

What she didn’t expect was the wholehearted support she and her husband Daryl received from the local community.

They opened the newly renamed Little Turtle Lake Store in November 2010. That Christmas they were surprised with gifts from their customers.

“I was so overwhelmed,” Theresa said. “It felt so good.”


Generlink Installation 

by Jerry Loney

Harvey Steinbrenner and his wife Betty reside in Bowstring Township on Jessie Lake. Overlooking Jessie from their beautiful home, they are able to take in the great sunsets and cool breezes the lake offers.

The Steinbrenners not only took advantage of North Itasca Electric’s Storage water and Dual Fuel programs, but have also installed the new Generlink transfer switch that North Itasca Electric offers its members. This device allows home owners to connect their portable generators directly to the home's electrical system in the event of power outages.

The Generlink transfer switch was installed between the meter socket and meter by North Itasca Electric’s line crew, eliminating the need for hiring an electrician and having unsightly devices occupying the Steinbrenner’s yard.


RoundUp® applications due Friday, Oct. 3 

The Board of Trustees of North Itasca Electric Community Trust will meet in October to distribute funds from RoundUp® to community organizations. Applications are due in the headquarters of North Itasca Electric Co-op by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, October 3. Applications are available on this website, at our office or by emailing roundup@nieci.com. They can be submitted to any Trustee, by mail, by fax at (218) 743-3644 or by email to roundup@nieci.com.

RoundUp® is a program where monthly bills are rounded up to the next whole dollar and the difference is donated by the member to the trust to be distributed semiannually for projects within the North Itasca Electric communities. Due to the generosity of the cooperative membership, there will be over $11,000 to distribute in this session.


Roxanne's Sales Talk 

by Roxanne Prather, Sales Assistant

I would like to remind everyone about the Co-op Connections card and share with you what a savings it has meant for a couple of our members.

I had a member purchase a front load washer and dryer for $929 each.

With the Co-op Connections card the washer was $929 and the member saved 15 percent on the dryer, saving them $139.00 off the dryer. They picked up the appliances themselves and saved another 10 percent off the total of the two appliances, which in this case would be $171.90. Add that amount to the Co-op Connections card savings of $139 and the total savings was $310.90 off their washer and dryer!


In September: Fiesta, Challenge, Bargains! 

Saturday, Sept. 6 – Fiesta!

Enjoy a Mexican Fiesta and help raise funds for community projects! The annual fundraiser Gala for the Bigfork Valley Community Foundation will be Saturday, Sept. 6 at the Marcell Family Center with the evening events starting at 5:30 p.m.

The Timberwolf Inn will be providing the Mexican cuisine, and there will be a silent auction with themed baskets and live music with the Northern Lights Trio band. A portion of the proceeds will go toward the Bigfork Village Hall Restoration Project. Tickets are $35 and can be purchased at the First State Bank of Bigfork, JoAnn’s Floral and Gifts, the Gift Nest at Bigfork Valley and the Edge of the Wilderness Discovery Center in Marcell.

For more information, call (218) 743-4116.


September 2014 Calendar of Events 

4-20 everyday extraordinary, Terra Rathia photography at the Edge Center Gallery in Bigfork, free admission. The Gallery is open Thurs-Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. .
4 Storytelling at Marcell Town Hall, 6:30 p.m. Subject: "If you had the time and money to do or go anyplace you wanted to, what would you do or where would you go?"
6 Enjoy a Fiesta! Annual Bigfork Valley Community Foundation Gala at the Marcell Family Center. Catered by the Timberwolf Inn, silent auctions, music, $35 at local outlets. Call (218) 743-4116 for more information.
7 The Sutter Brothers perform at the Edge Center in Bigfork, 2 p.m. A program of music and poetry. Tickets $10, children $5.
8 Women of the Woods meet at 10 a.m. at Sand Lake Community Center. Call Pat Sievertson at 659-2157 or Marlys Maki at 659-2901.
8 Deer River School Board meets, 6 p.m., public forum before meeting.
8 VFW meets in Bigfork second Monday at 7 p.m.
9 Stop and Stitch at Marcell Family Center. Bring sack lunch, project and $1, come and go. 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Contact Rhonda 259-9220 or Judy at 832-3237.
9 Evergreen Friendship Club meets at 5 p.m. at the Sand Lake Community Center. For more info, call 659-2683.
10 Interested in the logistics of a total knee or total hip replacement surgery? Come to Bigfork Valley's comprehensive program to learn about replacement surgery. Board Room, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. RSVP required: (218) 743-4135.