Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency generates and sells electricity wholesale. Their main customers are their members, 18 municipally owned utilities located mostly in south central and southeastern Minnesota. They also provide them with commercial/industrial and residential related services and products that help them serve the energy needs of their 92,000 retail customers reliably and at a fair price. SMMPA was created in 1977. Their main source of electricity is the 874 megawatt Sherco 3 generating unit located near Becker, Minnesota. They own 41% of the plant in partnership with the plant's operator, Northern States Power Company. Sherco 3 burns low-sulfur Western coal and is the largest such unit in the state. SMMPA also relies on the array of intermediate and peaking units of its members, key elements in the Agency's energy mix. SMMPA controls and dispatches these units as needed.