Federal judge makes ruling involving two energy cooperatives

HURON, S.D.(WNAX)- Federal Judge Lawrence Piersol has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Dakota Energy Cooperative against its wholesale power supplier East River Electric Power Cooperative, saying that the contract between the two electric cooperatives is clear and does not allow Dakota Energy to terminate its contract early.

East River Spokesman Chris Studer says it’s a win for the co-ops members.

In November 2020, Dakota Energy, headquartered in Huron, filed a lawsuit against East River Electric in an attempt to force East River Electric to give Dakota Energy a buyout number so they could terminate their contract long before the agreed upon date of Dec. 31, 2075.

Studer says the ruling gives those members assurances of long term, low cost power.

Studer says those long term contracts have to be respected.

Dakota Energy had earlier signed a letter of intent with a for-profit energy broker, Guzman Energy, based in Denver, to deliver their power.