SIOUX FALLS - East River Electric Power Cooperative has been recognized as "Wind Cooperative of the Year."

The award was presented during a recent conference in New Orleans sponsored by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

A panel of wind industry, utility, government, national laboratory and cooperative experts selected East River from a group of 15 nominees nationwide.

East River is a wholesale electric power supply cooperative serving eastern South Dakota and western Minnesota. In 2009, the co-op created South Dakota Wind Partners, a model for community-based, locally owned wind development that relied on residents rather than large equity investors.

General Manager Jeff Nelson says the co-op and its members are committed to increasing local value.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.