Rochester Public Utilities (RPU) is a municipally-owned electric and water utility located in Rochester, MN. RPU serves over 57,000 electric customers and 41,000 water customers in a 60 square mile service area, and has revenues nearing $161 million annually. RPU operates under the direction of a five member, mayor-appointed Utility Board and under the Rochester City Council.
RPU purchases a majority of their electricity from its wholesale provider Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (SMMPA), while utilizing the Midcontinent Independent System Operators (MISO) for additional electricity needs. RPU does boast numerous electric generating facilities including natural gas-powered turbine generators, a hydroelectric facility on Lake Zumbro, two gen-sets located at IBM, and five natural gas-fired reciprocating engine generators to be housed at the Westside Energy Station. In addition to providing electricity to the city of Rochester, RPU also provides a contracted steam delivery to the Mayo Clinic for their process purposes.
A robust RPU transmission system with ties to other regional transmission systems ensures the safe, reliable delivery of electricity in and out of Rochester. As part of the CapX2020 project, RPU recently added two new161 kV transmission interconnections at Rochester to provide additional transmission system reliability.
The RPU water system continues to provide RPU customers with clean, safe tap water. The RPU water system utilizes the Jordan Aquifer as its primary source for water, drawing from deep groundwater wells that range from 400-1,000 feet deep across Rochester. The high quality groundwater is lead-free and meets all state and federal guidelines and regulations. Water is pumped from the wells throughout the RPU water distribution system or stored in the numerous water storage facilities including the 50th Avenue Hydropillar with a capacity of 2 million gallons, the Apache Water Tower holding 500,000 gallons, or the St. Mary’s Reservoir with a capacity of 3.3 million gallons.
RPU employs over 200 full-time employees to provide the citizens of Rochester with safe, reliable electricity and safe, clean water on a daily basis.