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Hydro inks larger energy swap with Minnesota cooperative

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Hydro will send 200 MW of hydroelectric power to Great River Energy in the summer to meet their energy needs, while Great River Energy will provide Hydro with 200 MW during the winter.

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Hydro will send 200 MW of hydroelectric power to Great River Energy in the summer to meet their energy needs, while Great River Energy will provide Hydro with 200 MW during the winter.

Manitoba Hydro has inked a new 200-megawatt "seasonal diversity exchange" deal with Great River Energy of Minnesota, the Crown power utility said today.

The new deal extends a 150-MW arrangement in place between the two utilities since 1995. The new agreement runs to 2030.

"This agreement highlights the ongoing importance of transmission interconnections with neighbouring utilities," Hydro president and CEO Scott Thomson said.

"Not only do they allow us to sell excess hydroelectricity which helps keep Manitoba's rates low, but they ensure that we have the ability to import electricity during periods of drought or during emergencies, enhancing the reliability of electrical service to all our customers."

Hydro said in a statement seasonal diversity exchanges take advantage of increased demand on Hydro for heating during winter months. Most U.S. utilities like Great River Energy see their peak loads in the summer due to higher air conditioning use.

Hydro says the diversity exchange means Hydro will send 200 MW of hydroelectric power to Great River Energy in the summer to meet their energy needs, while Great River Energy will provide Hydro with 200 MW during the winter.

Great River Energy, based in Maple Grove, Minn., is a not-for-profit wholesale electric cooperative owned by 28 member cooperatives, serving nearly 650,000 member-consumers or about 1.7 million people. Great River Energy is the second largest electric power supplier in Minnesota, with more than 3,500 MW of generation capability.

Its two coal power plants – Coal Creek Station and Stanton Station – produce the majority of its power.

Jon Brekke, vice-president of member services for Great River Energy, said the deal with Hydro allows it to further reduce its carbon emissions.

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