Dairyland Power Cooperative

Press Release Archive - 2008

  • Dairyland Power Cooperative has signed an agreement with the Norm-E-Lane Dairy Farm to purchase the energy and capacity from their anaerobic digester “cow power” facility located in Clark County (Chili, Wis.). Norm-E-Lane is owned by the Meissner family, members of Clark Electric Cooperative. The facility at the 2,000-cow Norm-E-Lane Dairy Farm is expected to generate about 500 kilowatts of renewable energy, capable of powering 336 homes throughout Dairyland’s four-state service area.
  • Dairyland Power Cooperative announced that it is pleased to be indefinitely suspending the permitting process for a proposed off-site coal combustion byproducts disposal facility in Vernon County. All testing and permitting activities and future development plans will be halted at all three potential sites: the two sites in the town of Harmony and the site adjacent to the Vernon County landfill. We are pleased to make this announcement and appreciate the support and patience of the landowners who have worked with us throughout this process. We also thank cooperative and community members who listened, offered constructive ideas and have trusted in Dairyland’s long history of working with members. Note: In light of this decision, Dairyland is canceling the Open House which was scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 12, at the VFW in Viroqua
  • Dairyland and Iberdrola Renewables held a dedication event on Oct. 22 at the Winnebago Wind Power Project, a new wind farm near Thompson, Iowa. The Winnebago Wind Power Project adds a new “crop” of 10 turbines and 20 MW of clean electricity to power people’s homes and businesses, and help meet renewable portfolio standards. Dairyland is purchasing the renewable energy output from the wind farm from Iberdrola Renewables, the project developer. “We are excited to be in partnership with Iberdrola Renewables on the Winnebago Wind Power Project, which will light nearly 6,000 homes in Dairyland's service territory, including many served by our local member cooperative, Heartland Power,” said Bill Berg, Dairyland President and CEO.
  • The Blask boat landing on the Mississippi River in Genoa will undergo a dredging project to improve boat access the week of Sept. 8. Dairyland and the Town of Genoa have cooperated on the project, which will increase the depth of the area to 6 to 8 feet below the normal water level. “Over the years, the landing area has filled with sediment to the point where boaters are now having trouble getting in and out of the launch area,” said Brad Foss, Dairyland environmental biologist. In addition to the dredging at the launch site, the dock will be raised so that dredging beneath the dock can also take place. A secondary benefit of this project is the reuse of dredging material; the sediment removed from the landing will be used by the Town of Genoa as anti-skid material for roads during the winter months. Although the boat landing will remain open during construction, boaters will not have access to the dock and should expect delays at the landing. The project will begin on Monday, Sept. 8, and is expected to conclude by Friday, Sept. 12.
  • The Weston 4 power plant, of which Dairyland has a 30 percent ownership interest, was officially dedicated on Aug. 18. Dairyland President and CEO Bill Berg joined Wisconsin Public Service Corporation President Charlie Schrock, Public Service Commission of Wisconsin Chairperson Eric Callisto and other local and state officials in a ribbon cutting at the plant’s dedication ceremony. The 525 MW power plant became commercially operational on June 30, 2008. It uses clean coal technology, a high efficiency boiler, low sulfur coal as fuel and features sophisticated emission controls to minimize environmental impacts. Wisconsin Public Service Corp., the majority owner, constructed and operates the plant which is located near Wausau, Wis. Weston 4’s state-of-the-art design led it to be recently designated as Power Magazine’s 2008 Plant of the Year. “We are proud to be a partner in Weston 4, which is supplying our members with the clean, reliable electricity they need,” said Bill Berg, Dairyland President and CEO.
  • On Friday July 11, 2008, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit issued an opinion vacating the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR). Dairyland is assessing the implication of the Court’s decision regarding CAIR. “While it is still very early, it appears the Court’s decision on CAIR clears the way for states to rely on other Clean Air Act rules to mandate air emission controls on certain power plants,” said Don Huff, Director, Environmental Affairs. “We are certainly continuing to study the Court’s decision and potential impacts. However, Dairyland is not making any immediate changes in its planned investments in environmental controls, including the scrubber project currently underway at Genoa."
  • The Weston 4 power plant, of which Dairyland Power Cooperative has a 30 percent ownership interest, has achieved commercial operation. Wisconsin Public Service Corp., the majority owner, constructed and will operate the plant which is located near Wausau, Wis. The newly constructed 525 MW (nominal rating) power plant will use clean coal technology, a high efficiency boiler, use low sulfur coal as fuel and feature sophisticated emission controls to minimize environmental impacts. “Despite continuing emphasis on conservation, demand for energy in Dairyland’s four-state service territory is projected to continue increasing. Our partnership in the Weston 4 facility helps to ensure that our cooperative membership can count on a dependable, clean supply of electricity for generations to come,” said Bill Berg, Dairyland President and CEO.
  • Dairyland has executed a power purchase agreement with a subsidiary of DTE Energy Services, Inc., to purchase the full 40 MW expected electrical output of a proposed new biomass power plant located in Cassville, Wis. The facility will burn wood waste to generate renewable energy for the members of the Dairyland system. A subsidiary of DTE Energy Services will own and operate the facility, which is the former E.J. Stoneman Power Plant. The plant will be converted from burning coal to instead utilize wood-waste biomass for fuel. The proposed plant is scheduled to come online June 1, 2010. Its 40 MW of biomass renewable generation will be enough to power 28,000 residential homes in the Dairyland system “We are very pleased to be part of an alliance with DTE Energy Services that benefits both our members and the environment,” said Bill Berg, Dairyland President and CEO.
  • More than 700 delegates and guests attended Dairyland Power Cooperative’s 67th Annual Meeting on Wednesday, June 4. The theme of the meeting was “Generation for Generations.” Since 1941, Dairyland has been committed to reliably meeting energy needs while addressing environmental and economic concerns, and will continue to do so for future generations. William Berg, Dairyland President and CEO, illustrated how Dairyland has kept that commitment through the generations—from the early years when the utility was the first to bring electric light and heat to local rural communities to today’s investments in renewable energy and state-of-the-art efficient power plants. “When we look back on Dairyland’s history, we see that our cooperative built and planned not only for the present, but always also for the future. Our philosophy has been to always make things better by what we do, and build on what we have done in the past,” said Berg.
  • Dairyland has donated $10,000 to the Myrick Hixon EcoPark currently in development in La Crosse. The contribution is earmarked for an educational kiosk about raptors, specifically the Peregrine falcon. Dairyland Board of Directors Chairman Clarence Boettcher presented the check to La Crosse Park Commissioners at the park board’s 100th anniversary celebration on May 15. “As a cooperative, one of our founding principles is to help educate and strengthen the communities we serve. A contribution to the EcoPark, which will be a wonderful environmental education facility, is a perfect match for this mission,” said Boettcher. The Myrick Hixon EcoPark will completely renovate the current zoo at Myrick Park, changing it from a typical zoo to a multi-faceted education destination. The EcoPark will be populated with animals native to northern North America in their natural habitats, such as the Peregrine falcon.
  • Dairyland Power Cooperative announces the hire of John Carr to the position of Director, Fuels Management, effective May 12. As Director, Fuels Management, Carr will be responsible for the purchase and transport of the fuel needed to produce electricity at Dairyland’s power plants. Carr, a native of Austin, Minn., has a bachelor's degree in Economics from Iowa State University. He has 20 years of professional experience in grain marketing and transportation, trading and risk management, utility fuel supply operations, and energy marketing.
  • Dairyland Power Cooperative and its member cooperative, Tri-County Electric, have donated $1,000 to Mississippi River Wild to help fund a spotting scope project at the Mississippi River Refuge observation area in Brownsville, Minn. This new observation area attracts hundreds of bird watchers from many areas, particularly during the fall migration. It is the premiere viewing location for tundra swans, eagles, ducks and geese. “Contributing to the permanent, mounted scope is a great match for Dairyland’s commitment to environmental stewardship and education in the communities we serve. Now, birdwatchers will be able to enjoy the incredible wildlife in the Refuge even more,” said Don Huff, Dairyland Director of Environmental Affairs.
  • Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle has proclaimed the week of April 28 to May 3, Dam Safety Awareness Week. Dairyland Power Cooperative joins the Midwest Hydro Users Group (HUG) in promoting safety awareness at dams. HUG is an association of dam owners whose purpose is to promote safe, efficient and economical use of hydroelectric power. Dam Safety Week is meant to heighten the safety awareness of recreational and fishing enthusiasts as they return to the waterways. Many of the accidents that occur near dams could be prevented by using common sense, practicing safety, staying clear of dams and understanding the dangers to be found near them.
  • Dairyland has granted a conservation easement to Mississippi Valley Conservancy (MVC) to permanently preserve 110 acres of Mississippi River bluffland near Alma, Wis., in Buffalo County. Dairyland owns the land, which borders the Great River Road (Hwy. 35) and includes rare oak savanna habitat, as well as mature hardwood forests and dry bluff prairie areas. The land has significant natural, wildlife and scenic value, and consists mainly of steep river bluffs with rocky outcroppings, native dry prairie and old growth mixed hardwood forest. “Working with MVC to conserve this beautiful and ecologically very important area has been so rewarding for Dairyland, as preserving the land will benefit all Mississippi River Valley community members. It’s satisfying to know that this land will be protected and enjoyed for perpetuity, without threat of development,” said John Thiel, Dairyland Senior Environmental Biologist.
  • Together, Dairyland and its member cooperatives are encouraging energy users to “Do the Bright Thing” by providing members with ENERGY STAR compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs. In 2008 alone, 300,000 ENERGY STAR CFL bulbs will be distributed to cooperative members, with more planned in 2009. ENERGY STAR qualified CFLs use about 75 percent less energy than standard incandescent bulbs and last up to 10 times longer. By installing CFLs in fixtures that are used the most in your home (such as your kitchen, living room or dining room), you can save approximately $30 or more over the lifetime of each bulb.
  • Dairyland has completed its expansion of the Veolia ES Seven Mile Creek Landfill gas-to-energy (LGE) facility with the addition of a fourth 1 MW generator and gas conditioning system. The Seven Mile Creek plant now produces enough renewable energy for 3,325 homes.
  • The Weston 4 power plant, of which Dairyland Power Cooperative has a 30 percent ownership, has produced its first megawatt-hour of electricity. The coal-fired power plant, newly constructed near Wausau, Wis., was synchronized to the grid during initial start-up testing procedures on Thursday, March 20. The power plant will be in the start-up and testing mode for another two months. Wisconsin Public Service Corp., the 70 percent owner, constructed and will operate the plant.
  • As part of Dairyland Power Cooperative’s continuing investment in cleaner air, the cooperative is retrofitting its Genoa #3 Generating Station with state-of-the-art environmental control equipment that will significantly reduce air emissions. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) is holding a hearing on a permit that allows Dairyland to construct the new equipment on Tuesday, March 25, 2008, at the Stoddard Village Hall (Conference Room), 180 N. Main Street, Stoddard, WI.
  • Dairyland is planning to reduce mercury discharges to the Mississippi River as part of its wastewater permit renewal for its Genoa Site. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) is holding an informational hearing on this permit renewal on Wednesday, Jan. 30, at 5 p.m., at the State Office Building, in La Crosse. “We are aware that there has been misleading information distributed to the public, prior to this hearing that implies that Dairyland is planning to increase our discharges of mercury,” says Don Huff, Director, Environmental Affairs. “This is not true, and to the contrary, we are planning to reduce our discharges.”
  • Dairyland is investing in more landfill gas renewable energy through power purchase agreements and facility expansion in early 2008. Waste Management, Inc.’s, Timberline Trail Landfill Generating Station (Bruce, Wis.) is expanding its renewable energy production from 3.2 MW to 5.6 MW with the addition of three 800 kW engines. All generating units are expected to be online by the end of January. Dairyland is expanding renewable energy operations at the Veolia ES Seven Mile Creek Landfill Generating Station (Eau Claire, Wis.) with the addition of a 1 MW engine. Currently, the 3 MW Seven Mile Creek facility can power 2,500 homes. Once the new unit is online this spring, Seven Mile Creek will be able to power approximately 3,300 homes in the Dairyland system.

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