Fitch Ratings and Moody’s Investors Service have affirmed their AA- and Aa3 ratings, respectively, for the Western Minnesota Municipal Power Agency, WMMPA said on June 12.
WMMPA provides financing for and is the owner of electric generation, transmission, and other facilities that are used by Missouri River Energy Services, or MRES, to serve its 61-member public power systems in Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
WMMPA noted that the ratings were sought in anticipation of an upcoming bond sale of approximately $95 million. The bond sale is slated to occur the week of June 18.
The funds will pay for completion of the Red Rock Hydroelectric Project as well as for certain electric transmission improvements. The Red Rock Project is currently under construction at the existing Red Rock Dam on the Des Moines River near Pella, Iowa.
“The high bond ratings, along with the reputation of WMMPA and MRES should provide a favorable interest rate for this upcoming bond sale,” said MRES Finance Director and CFO Merlin Sawyer. “These ratings are a tribute to the long-term relationships with MRES members and the strong financial performance of MRES.”
WMMPA has 24 Minnesota members, all of which also are members of MRES.
It said that it is one of just a few joint-action agencies from across the country, and the only one in the Midwest, to earn ratings in the double-A category from both Fitch and Moody’s.