Envisioning a joint power agency with a project-oriented focus, a group of independent-minded public power utilities collaborated in 1987 to form Central Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (CMMPA). At the time, CMMPA was established for the sole purpose of negotiating and managing a single power supply contract with a neighboring investor-owned utility. Over the years, the members’ preference for a project-based agency approach has worked to their advantage by allowing them flexibility and autonomy as either a full or partial requirements member.
In 1998, the Agency expanded from one contract and employee to form a separate management and consulting services agency that was known for many years as Utilities Plus, but in 2015 was rebranded as Central Municipal Power Agency/Services (CMPAS). Although its name changed, the Agency’s team of industry specialists continue to serve in a consultative role providing power supply, transmission, and energy market services to both members and non-member affiliates in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.
Fast forward to present day, over 30 years since its inception, and CMPAS continues to serve as a “directional compass” for municipal utilities. While the Agency has grown, the projects have gotten bigger, and service offerings have expanded, CMPAS still remains true to its public power origin and original tenets to serve as a “partial requirements agency with an emphasis on independence of operation, economical supply of energy for its consumer owners, and perpetuation of municipally owned electric systems in Minnesota.”