Celebrating 85 years of the cooperative advantage

WH is celebrating 85 years of the cooperative advantage! We are proud to be a part of this community for 85 years and many more to come.

WH is celebrating 85 years of the cooperative advantage! We are proud to be a part of this community for 85 years and many more to come.

85 years ago, Ed Slebiska and a handful of others came together to bring power to rural Wright and Hennepin counties. Since then, WH has worked hard to bring safe, reliable and affordable power to you, our member-owners. Here is a brief history of WH:


  • 1935: President Franklin D. Roosevelt creates the Rural Electrification Administration (REA)
  • 1935: Local township meetings are held in Wright and Hennepin counties to discuss rural electrification
  • 1937: March 29, Rural Hennepin Cooperative electric association merges with Wright Cooperative Light and Power, forming Wright-Hennepin Cooperative Electric Association
  • 1937: WH secures 1st loan to begin building power lines
  • 1938: First member energized
  • 1938: Moved headquarters from Cokato to Maple Lake
  • 1940: WH joins five other co-ops to organize the Rural Cooperative Power Association (Which became UPA) of Elk River for generation and transmission of electric power for its members
  • 1945: 50% of farms in WH’s service territory have power
  • 1951: Balance paid on first REA loan
  • 1957: WH enters the retail appliance business
  • 1958: First capital credit checks issued
  • 1967: Stanton station baseload power plant goes online
  • 1968: District office established in Hamel
  • 1979: Unit 1 of Coal Creek Station power plant goes online
  • 1980: Off-Peak programs introduced
  • 1988: WH introduces a scholarship program, designed to further the education of children of members
  • 1989: WH Security is formed
  • 1994: Headquarters relocated to current location in Rockford
  • 1994: WH International Response Center is established to provide security monitoring services
  • 2001: Operation Round Up hits $1 million in local donations
  • 2005: WH signs long-term power supply contract with Basin Electric Power Cooperative to help control costs and manage future risks, marking first time WH’s power supply portfolio has been diversified
  • 2008: All residential members have automatic meter reading technology
  • 2012: WH celebrates 75 years of serving members
  • 2013: WH develops solar communities which offer members a chance to power their homes with completely renewable energy
  • 2016: WH signs power contract that gives the co-op flexibility to choose some of its own generation
  • 2021: WH begins updating its Advanced Meter Infrastructure (AMI) system for all members
  • 2021: WH reaches $82 million in capital credits returned to members
  • 2022: WH celebrates 85 years of the cooperative advantage