In the early 20th century, when electricity service was initially spreading across the nation, electric utilities could not afford to build transmission lines and generation facilities to provide electric service to rural areas. The low density of population in rural areas, compared to urban environments, made the economics of generating and distributing electricity there difficult. Electric cooperatives were, therefore, formed to provide that service. Electric cooperatives are locally owned and operated, not-for-profit utilities that generate and/or purchase wholesale electricity, which they deliver to their customers in the more sparsely populated rural areas of the state. In Michigan, electric co-ops serve approximately 750,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers overall. 
[*]Wolverine Power Supply Cooperative supplies wholesale electricity to seven owner-members. Five of those members are cooperatives listed above: Cherryland, Great Lakes, Homeworks, Midwest and Presque Isle. Their other two owner-members are Spartan Renewable Energy and Wolverine Power Marketing Cooperative.