Historical photograph of Crow Wing Power Cooperative.

It’s 2023, where ‘luxury’ items include robot vacuums and lawn mowers, virtual reality headsets, and several smart home devices all powered by electricity keeping people connected. Imagine just 86 years ago, electricity was on that list.

In the 1930’s Franklin D. Roosevelt realized that the nation’s goal of industrialization and modernization couldn’t happen if the majority of citizens didn’t have access to electric power. He therefore signed a bill in 1935 authorizing the Rural Electrification Act (REA), which paved the way for rural people to form electric cooperatives.

Crow Wing Cooperative Power and Light Company (our official name) was formed in 1937. In the archived Board minutes, we see actions of several hard-working individuals dedicated to bringing electricity to folks in rural Cass, Crow Wing, and Morrison Counties. Farmers, rural residents, and businesses joined together to build power lines that would provide them with electricity. On March 24, 1935, power to the first 140 cooperative members was ‘turned on’ for the first time.

The Board minute books recorded the names of people signing up for service after paying $2.00 for a share to join the Cooperative. According to early stories, initial linemen worked tirelessly hand-setting and climbing poles without bucket trucks to provide electricity for about 200 families within the first year. By 1960 the cooperative served 10,000 and today we have over 40,000 members.

If comparing then to now, just like everything else, technology and the way of life has just evolved. One thing hasn’t changed is the core of our business—to deliver and maintain reliable electricity at the lowest possible cost.

As a cooperative, Crow Wing Power is owned by its members and governed by an elected board of directors. Members receive friendly service from knowledgeable local employees who care about them and the communities we live in. Members receive a share of the revenue over and above the cost of doing business in the form of capital credit refunds. That’s because Crow Wing Power is accountable to our members, not stakeholders. With the cooperative philosophy, rates cover the cost of doing business and are not marked up to generate profit. We’re also proud to be part of a group of over 730 electric Touchstone Energy Cooperatives throughout the nation that follow cooperative values.

At Crow Wing Power - We are Proud to Power your life and the communities we serve.