Rochester Public Utilities | Blog

Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Plans for $2 billion investment in MN’s electric grid

Monday, August 1st, 2022

MEDIA ADVISORY:  August 2 event
Plans for $2 billion investment in MN’s electric grid

Transmission lines are the highways for our electric grid to deliver power to Minnesota homes and businesses. Minnesota is now moving forward to invest more than $2 billion in new transmission lines to expand our electric grid. This investment is part of $10 billion in new transmission lines planned for the Midwest under a coordinated effort by MISO (Mid-Continent Independent System Operator), which manages the regional electric grid for 15 Midwest and southern states, and Manitoba.

The Minnesota Department of Commerce, which represents Minnesota consumers on energy issues, along with leaders from energy organizations developing the new transmission infrastructure, will explain more about this major infrastructure investment, which sets the path for the future of Minnesota’s energy.

Please join us at the Chester Substation, which will be part of the expansion.

TIME:   10 am, Tuesday, August 2

LOCATION:  Rochester Public Utilities – Chester substation 506  50th Ave SE, Rochester (link to map), RPU’s substation is along the transmission line proposed for southern MN (Wilmarth–North Rochester–Tremval line)

SPEAKERS:     

  • Minnesota Department of Commerce Commissioner Grace Arnold
  • Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency CEO & Executive Director Dave Geschwind
  • Rochester Public Utilities General Manager Mark Kotschevar
  • LiUNA (Laborers’ International Union of North America) Kevin Pranis
  • Xcel Energy Senior Vice President of Transmission Michael Lamb

Additional information: 

Rochester Public Utilities staff will provide media with an overview of how the substation is connected to a transmission line and distributes electrical power.

MISO transmission plan report:  See slide 7 for transmission lines planned in Minnesota

Infographic:  Understanding the Grid (U.S. DOE)

Media contacts: Mo Schriner, Minnesota Department of Commerce  mo.schriner@state.mn.us
Tony Benson, Rochester Public Utilities tbenson@rpu.org

20th Annual Arbor Day Celebration to be held on April 29th

Wednesday, April 27th, 2022

April, 27, 2022 – ROCHESTER, MN – Rochester Public Utilities (RPU), with partners Maier Tree & Lawn and Rochester Parks & Recreation, and Sargent’s Gardens will host the 20th Annual Arbor Day Celebration on Friday, April 29 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Three Links-Silver Lake Park, located at 840 7th St NE in Rochester.

The fun and free community event will feature a variety of activities and displays that will include: A tree giveaway (while supplies last), a free lunch of hot dogs, corn on the cob, chips, cookies, and soda will be provided (while supplies last), and live music from PK Mayo Quartet. Tree experts will also be on hand to answer questions on tree planting and care, along with many other vendor activities and information.

Children will be able to enjoy Smokey Bear, tree medallion necklace, apple toss game, tree ring toss game, bean bag toss, and much more!

At noon, an awards ceremony will honor Rochester elementary school students who were selected as finalists of the Arbor Day poster contest, as well as this year’s overall winner, Jia-Xin Fan, a 4th grader at Gibbs Elementary. Jia-Xin will receive a $100 ABC & Toy Zone gift card, her winning poster will be featured in RPU’s 2023 calendar, and a tree will be planted in her honor at Gibbs Elementary School. This year’s poster contest theme was “Trees Are Terrific and They Keep Our Water Clean!”

RPU line crews will also collaborate with Rochester Parks & Recreation on a tree planting for The Right Tree in the Right Place program on May 5th. This is an annual event to plant the proper type of boulevard trees in different neighborhoods in Rochester.

Co-Sponsors of this year’s event include: Hy-Vee, Jim Whiting Nursery & Garden Center, Minnesota Energy Resources, Pepsi, and Seneca Foods.

In the event of rain, the celebration will be moved to Rochester Community & Technical College’s Field House.

About Rochester Public Utilities

As the municipal utility of Rochester, MN, for more than 110 years, RPU provides high quality and reliable electricity to over 58,000 customers.  Water customers number more than 41,000.  RPU continually investigates innovative technologies to help customers realize the best value from the services they receive.  Current initiatives include photovoltaic offerings, wind energy, energy and water efficient equipment, and electric vehicle charging.

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RPU to host virtual public meeting on proposed electric utility substation

Wednesday, August 25th, 2021

ROCHESTER, MN – Rochester Public Utilities (RPU) will be hosting a virtual public meeting on a proposed electric utility substation on Wednesday, September 1 at 5:30pm.

The virtual public meeting will lay out details of the proposed substation along Marion Road SE and will provide an opportunity for community members to ask questions or to voice comments on the proposed project.

The proposed substation will enhance RPU’s ability to provide quality electric power to neighborhoods and businesses in central and southeast Rochester. The area of service will generally span from 11th Avenue southeast to 50th Avenue, and from 4th Street SE to Hwy. 52. Businesses and Mayo facilities in downtown Rochester will also be served from the new substation.

The meeting link and call-in phone number will be made available on the RPU home page on the blue callout banner, as well as on the RPU blog listing.

Click here for link to meeting

Full link display- https://teams.microsoft.com/l/meetup-join/19%3ameeting_NjkxN2IzNzQtYjRhOC00OTY3LWJkNTQtYzJiMDM1NjhmOTI3%40thread.v2/0?context=%7b%22Tid%22%3a%22cb27df39-77b0-4068-b566-20ba44fa9279%22%2c%22Oid%22%3a%22bdb3919c-585b-4c09-918f-6b92d8d70937%22%7d

Phone number to meeting- (audio only) 1 347-352-4853 Phone Conference ID: 676 160 928#

Additional communication was sent directly to residents and businesses in the immediate vicinity of the proposed substation location.

For more information, please contact Tony Benson at 507-280-1534 or email at tbenson@rpu.org.

About Rochester Public Utilities

As the municipal utility of Rochester, Minn., for more than 110 years, RPU provides high-quality and reliable electricity to over 56,000 customers.  Water customers number more than 40,000.  RPU continually investigates innovative technologies to help customers realize the best value from the services they receive.  Current initiatives include photovoltaic offerings, wind energy, energy and water efficient equipment, and electric vehicle charging.

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RPU announces Arbor Day Tree Giveaway

Friday, April 30th, 2021

Rochester Public Utilities (RPU) along with its Partnering Sponsors – Maier Tree & Lawn, Rochester Parks & Recreation, Sargent’s Gardens, and Jim Whiting Nursery & Garden announce a Free Arbor Day Tree Giveaway on April 30th.

Over 800 burr oak seedlings will be handed out at the tree giveaway, while supplies last.

The tree giveaway will be a drive-thru event on April 30th from 11am-1pm at Three Links- Silver Lake Park located at 840 7th St NE in Rochester. Staff from the sponsor organizations and the city of Rochester will be handing out tree seedlings, along with a proclamation reading from Mayor Kim Norton at 11am. Please wear a mask when you drive up to receive your tree seedling.

RPU usually hosts an annual Arbor Day Celebration, but due to Covid-19 restrictions and to ensure safety for RPU staff, sponsor staff, and the community, the celebration event was canceled this year.

For more information on the Arbor Day Tree Giveaway, visit the RPU website at www.rpu.org.

About Rochester Public Utilities

As the municipal utility of Rochester, Minn., for more than 110 years, RPU provides high-quality and reliable electricity to over 56,000 customers.  Water customers number more than 40,000.  RPU continually investigates innovative technologies to help customers realize the best value from the services they receive.  Current initiatives include photovoltaic offerings, wind energy, energy and water efficient equipment, and electric vehicle charging.

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2020 Arbor Day Tree Giveaway

Wednesday, May 20th, 2020

Rochester Public Utilities (RPU), along with partners Rochester Parks & Recreation, Sargent’s Gardens, Maier Tree & Lawn, and Jim Whiting Nursery & Garden Center will hold a free tree giveaway on Thursday, May 21 from 11am-2pm at Hy-Vee on 37th Street NW.

RPU’s Annual Arbor Day Celebration, scheduled for the end of April, was cancelled due to safety concerns for RPU employees, event partners and sponsors, and the public. In preparation for the event, 1,700 Serviceberry trees were already on order and will require planting in the near future. RPU, along with partners Rochester Parks & Recreation, Sargent’s Gardens, Maier Tree & Lawn, and Jim Whiting Nursery & Garden Center are planning to give away all 1,700 Serviceberry trees at a drive through giveaway event.

The Rochester community is invited to come to the drive through tree giveaway to get a free tree to plant, while supplies last. The Serviceberry trees are small and will fit through a car window. One tree will be given away per vehicle.

RPU reminds customers to contact Gopher State One Call to do underground locates before starting any digging in their yard or property. Gopher State One Call can be contacted by visiting gopherstateonecall.org or by calling 811.

For more information regarding the tree giveaway and safe digging practices, visit www.rpu.org.

About Rochester Public Utilities

As the municipal utility of Rochester, Minn., for more than 110 years, RPU provides high-quality and reliable electricity to over 50,000 customers. Water customers number more than 40,000. RPU continually investigates innovative technologies to help customers realize the best value from the services they receive. Current initiatives include fuel cell research, wind power, and photovoltaic offerings.

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