Dunn Energy Cooperative and Xcel Energy Actively Participate in Economic Development for the Greater Menomonie, Wisconsin Region

Dunn Energy Cooperative and Xcel Energy Actively Participate in Economic Development for the Greater Menomonie, Wisconsin Region Main Photo

21 Jul 2023


Dunn Energy Cooperative and Xcel Energy partners with state, regional, and local organizations like the Greater Menomonie Development Corporation (GMDC) to achieve growth and job creation. These utility organizations continue to power businesses in urban and rural areas to help foster economic growth in the Greater Menomonie, Wisconsin region. 

Xcel Energy Finds Ways to Power Businesses

Xcel Energy is a major U.S. electricity and natural gas company with operations in eight Western and Midwestern states providing a comprehensive portfolio of energy-related products and services to over 5 million customers. The City of Menomonie was an early participant in Xcel Energy’s Partners in Energy Program. This ongoing program works with the City to help Menomonie to reach its 100 percent Carbon Free Resolution by 2050. 

To reach this goal, Xcel Energy has played a pivotal role in assisting the city with development of their Community Energy Action Plan that provides a road map to meet their ambitious Carbon Free goal. Some recent projects completed or in progress include the following:

  • Creation of the Menomonie Energy Dashboard
  • Renovation of City Hall’s Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning control system
  • Conversion of the Airport runway lights, traffic signals, and streetlights to high-efficient LED lighting systems

“Xcel Energy is at the heart of our nation’s clean energy transition,” said Bob Frenzel, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Xcel Energy. “Guided by our customers’ priorities and enabled by rapidly changing technology, we’re driving toward a clean energy future, bringing reliable, affordable, increasingly clean energy to millions.”

Xcel Energy and the Greater Menomonie Development Corporation

The City of Menomonie and the GMDC’s innovative approach to industrial site construction and planning through their Virtual Speculative Buildings have paved the way for businesses to customize structures to suit their needs and achieve faster occupancy. 
This unique partnership has led Ellsworth Coop Creamery and Hurlburt Heating & Plumbing to purchase shovel-ready sites in the Menomonie industrial park that were marketed as the first two Virtual Spec Buildings. Building upon this success, Xcel Energy and the GMDC have partnered with the City of Menomonie, Chippewa Valley Technical College, and the University of Wisconsin Stout to develop and market Virtual Spec Building 3.0. 

The GMDC and City of Menomonie have effectively utilized Xcel Energy’s Real Estate programs to assist the site certification process of the City’s industrial park properties. Communities with certified shovel-ready sites are much more favorable to attracting capital investments and creating new high-paying jobs.

Member-Owned Dunn Energy Cooperative Provides Power To Rural Areas

Dunn Energy Cooperative (DEC) is a member-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperative in Menomonie, Wisconsin. DEC was established by members in 1937 to bring electricity to rural families, farms, and businesses. They deliver electricity and energy services to nearly 10,000 accounts on nearly 2,000 miles of line in mainly Dunn County, but also into Barron, Chippewa, Pepin, Pierce, and St. Croix Counties as well.

Rural Economic Development With the Help of the Dunn Energy Cooperative

“Our major economic development initiative is infrastructure,” said CEO & General Manager Jesse Singerhouse. “We want to ensure we can serve the potential loads of companies that want to build a factory, agriculture facility, or farms looking to expand. In a rural area we might not have existing infrastructure like they might within a city. So we try to be proactive and work with our local economic development corporations like GMDC and the Dunn County Economic Development Corporation to see where things will grow or happen and be in that loop.”

The Dunn Energy Cooperative has several economic development loan programs and  is heavily involved in administering a USDA Program called the Rural Economic Development Loan & Grant program. This program provides funding for rural projects through a utility organization like DEC. The USDA provides zero-interest loans to DEC, which they pass to local Wisconsin businesses for projects to create and retain employment in rural areas. Some projects through this USDA program include the following:

  • Eat My Fish: Herby Radman Bullfrog Fish Farm (Rainbow trout)
  • Rock Creek Township — Fire Department
  • American Structures

The Location Advantages of the Greater Menomonie, Wisconsin Area Are Clear

Dunn Energy Cooperative and Xcel Energy have recognized the potential for economic growth in the Greater Menomonie region. Businesses looking to expand to this region can gain access to the benefits that current businesses have come to enjoy.

  • One hour from the Twin Cities and Chippewa Valley communities
  • Highway and rail-adjacent industrial park properties
  • A reliable and committed workforce
  • Unique partnerships with the GMDC, higher education, and government partners

With the help of utility partners like Dunn Energy Cooperative and Xcel Energy, the GMDC can strive towards accomplishing its mission to create and support a business climate that fosters responsible economic growth. Contact the GMDC to learn more about the resources available and the many ways it can help with your next economic development project.