Great Lakes Energy (GLE) Cooperative, headquartered in Boyne City, MI, and Alger Delta Cooperative Electric Association, headquartered in Gladstone, MI, are engaged in discussions and associated due diligence to explore combining the two member-owned electric cooperatives into one larger organization.

“We are excited about exploring the benefits of combining our two electric cooperatives,” said Richard Walsworth, GLE Chairman. “There could be many operational and financial benefits for the member-consumers served by both of our organizations.”

A merger of GLE and Alger Delta would require an affirmative membership vote from the member-consumers served by each of the cooperatives. The cooperatives’ respective membership votes could come in early 2015 if the merger is approved by the two organizations’ boards of directors.

The potential benefits for both cooperatives could be significant. GLE members would benefit from the growth associated with the addition of 10,000 Alger Delta members, including increased margins and the ability to spread fixed costs over a larger consumer base. Rates could be also be stabilized by the longer term merger benefits.

Potential benefits for Alger Delta members would include increased investment in key operational areas such as tree trimming and distribution system automation leading to improvements in electrical reliability and an enhanced level of service to members. Using current retail rates, the average Alger Delta residential member would save more than $24 per month on GLE’s rates.