Department History

Diesel & Hydro Power


Sioux Center has operated its own municipal electric utility since 1949. Initially, diesel engines generated power for the community. Then, in the 1950s, Sioux Center began purchasing hydro power, which was produced by the dams on the Missouri River.

New Energy Sources


During the 1970s, the hydro system no longer fulfilled all of the community’s energy needs. Sioux Center, along with many other municipal utilities, formed an organization called the Missouri River Energy Services (MRES) to provide supplemental power above what the hydro system could supply. Today, Sioux Center still receives a quarter of its power from the hydro system. The remaining power is provided by coal, natural gas and wind generators through MRES.

Electric Distribution System


When Sioux Center initially began operating its electric utility, power was delivered throughout the community on overhead lines. Since then, nearly all of the distribution lines have been converted to an underground system, providing additional safety and reliability.

Where Our Power Comes From

The Sioux Center Municipal Utility purchases the power you use every day from the following outside resources:

Western Area Power Administration (WAPA):

Sioux Center purchases 25% of its power from the Western Area Power Administration which markets the electricity produced from hydro-electric dams along the Missouri River. Sioux Center has purchased federally produced electricity from the dams since 1955, which has proven to be a very low-cost energy source. To learn more about WAPA, click here.

Missouri River Energy Services (MRES):

Another approximate 75% of the power used by the businesses and residents of Sioux Center comes from MRES. MRES is a joint action agency consisting of a group of 60 municipally owned electric utilities in Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. With a joint action agency, each member cooperates with the others in an effort to achieve success in the operation of electrical systems. For more information on MRES, click here.

MRES Generation Resources: 
  • Laramie River Station, coal-fired generation producing 281 MegaWatts (MW) 
  • Exira Power Plant, combustion generation producing 140 MW 
  • Watertown, MN Power Plant, combusting generation producing 52 MW 
  • Worthington, MN Wind Farm, producing 3.7 MW 
  • Marshall, MN Wind Farm, producing 18.7 MW 
  • Odin, MN Wind Farm, producing 20 MW