Dairyland Power Cooperative

Press Release Archive - 2012

  • Dairyland is pleased to announce the promotion of John Carr to the position of Vice President, Strategic Planning, effective January 4, 2013. He succeeds Dale Pohlman, who is retiring on January 4 after 12 years of service to Dairyland. “John’s technical expertise in fuel and power marketing has been an important asset to Dairyland,” said Bill Berg, President and CEO. “I am confident that John’s strong leadership skills and strengths in power marketing, planning and fuel management will help Dairyland be successful as we serve our members’ future needs.” Carr joined Dairyland as Director, Fuels Management, in May 2008. He was promoted to Director, Fuel and Power Marketing in May 2011. A native of Austin, Minn., Carr has a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Iowa State University. He has 25 years of professional experience in grain marketing and transportation, trading and risk management, utility fuel supply operations, and energy marketing. Prior to joining Dairyland, he was employed by Alliant Energy in Madison, and Cargill, Inc., of Minneapolis.
  • Dairyland is rebuilding the Genoa to La Crosse (southern) portion of its Q1 transmission line. The line, which is the primary provider of electricity for the City of La Crosse and the surrounding areas, is in need of rebuilding after nearly 65 years of use and exposure to the elements. The 161 kilovolt Genoa to La Crosse segment of the Q1 line extends 20 miles from the Genoa transmission substation in Vernon County north to a City of La Crosse interconnection with Xcel Energy. It is being rebuilt using existing routes and rights of way, and will remain the same voltage. Modern technologies and materials will improve efficiency and increase delivery capability by over 40 percent. Construction activities commenced in September 2012 and will conclude by the beginning of June 2013. Land restoration will continue through summer 2013. In addition to Dairyland trucks, residents will notice vehicles from the companies contracted for the project: Hooper Corp., Tri-State Drilling and Kulig Contracting.
  • An annual review of Wisconsin utilities yielded kudos to Dairyland regarding its steady and substantial increase in renewable energy generation and purchases. Approximately 12 percent of Dairyland's electricity sales come from renewable sources of energy. The Wisconsin Utility Regulation Report (published by Preferred Intelligence, LLC) was released Sept. 28, 2012. According to the report, the Public Service Commission noted that in 2011, the renewable energy provided by Dairyland to its Wisconsin member cooperatives increased “dramatically from 2010 to 2011, and has now achieved a level that exceeds its 2015 requirements.” The state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) mandates that all Wisconsin utilities reach the target of 10 percent renewable generation or investment by year 2015. “As a cooperative utility, we will continue to make prudent investments in renewable energy,” said Brian Rude, Vice President, External and Member Relations. “Diversifying with a variety of renewable options, such as wind, hydro, animal waste-to-energy, biomass and solar, will continue to be a key part of our power supply plans.”
  • Dairyland is purchasing the excess energy output from a new 368 kW solar photovoltaic installation at the City of Galena (Ill.) Wastewater Treatment Plant. The facility is interconnected with Jo-Carroll Energy (Elizabeth, Ill.), a Dairyland member cooperative. The solar units’ production at the wastewater treatment plant is expected to produce sufficient power to satisfy the facility’s energy needs. Dairyland has a power purchase agreement in place with the City of Galena for all energy produced beyond that required to power the wastewater treatment plant. Eagle Point Solar, based in Dubuque, Iowa, installed the photovoltaic system. The project installation was partially funded by an Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation grant. “Jo-Carroll Energy is pleased to be collaborating on a local renewable energy project that serves a critical facility in our area, and provides benefits to the environment,” said Michael Hastings, Jo-Carroll Energy CEO.
  • Dairyland Power Cooperative has reached a joint settlement agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Sierra Club concluding litigation regarding alleged violations of the New Source Review (NSR)* provisions of the Clean Air Act. In doing so, Dairyland admits no violations of law, and all claims against Dairyland based on facility modifications prior to the settlement were released by the other parties. “A long, drawn out legal battle would not be in the best financial interest of Dairyland’s members and, since we had already begun adding hundreds of millions of dollars of air emission controls at our power plants, we agreed to work toward a settlement to reduce the risk of uncertain outcomes and the accompanying additional rate pressure for our cooperative consumers,” said Bill Berg, President and CEO. “Dairyland stands by its strong belief that our cooperative did not violate the law.”
  • Approximately 600 electric cooperative leaders and guests attended Dairyland Power Cooperative’s 71st annual meeting on Wednesday, June 6. The theme of the meeting was Valuable Connections, highlighting the crucial role collaboration plays in sustaining Dairyland’s strength and leadership as a reliable, responsible cooperative utility. Following that theme in his primary address, William Berg, Dairyland President and CEO, spoke to the membership about “why you should feel good about being a member of this cooperative and the valuable connections it gives you.” Mr. Berg discussed the importance of maintaining a positive outlook for the future, while steadily working through industry issues. “We are certainly facing many challenges that make long-term power planning difficult. We know there will be setbacks, but we will persevere. We will continue to do the things we need to do to make our members’ future better. That is our history at Dairyland. That is who we are.”
  • Dairyland Power Cooperative is purchasing the renewable energy output from a wind farm located near Lewiston, Minn. The facility is owned by GL Envision, LLC, which is part of the Gundersen Lutheran Health System. This renewable energy facility includes two wind turbines, providing nearly 5 megawatts of output and capable of powering approximately 1,000 homes.
  • Dairyland is purchasing the renewable energy from a new, 45 kW anaerobic digester located at a small dairy farm near Chaseburg, Wis. The Wayne Peters farm is served by Vernon Electric Cooperative. The 200-cow “Peters Farm” facility is unique in that it represents the first small-scale use of a manure digester system in the region. Typically, “cow power” manure digester plants are designed for large-herd dairy farms of at least 1,000 cows. The Universal Sanitary Equipment Manufacturing Company (USEMCO), based out of Tomah, Wis., developed a digester specifically to encompass small-herd operations such as the Peters Farm. “Dairyland Power is a national leader in terms of the quantity of on-farm digesters producing renewable energy for our cooperative system. We are pleased to be part of this partnership which produces more renewable power locally while offering great promise for small family-owned farms,” said Craig Harmes, Dairyland Manager, Business Development.
  • Dairyland Power Cooperative has donated $1,000 to the Friends of Pool 9, a local non-profit organization committed to preserving the Upper Mississippi River. The donation is slated to be used by the Friends of Pool 9 to purchase liability insurance for volunteers. Dairyland Environmental Biologist Brad Foss presented the check to the Friends of Pool 9 President, John Verdon, at the group’s April Board meeting. “Along with supporting the Friends of Pool 9 through volunteerism, Dairyland is very pleased to help offset insurance costs for the group through this donation. The work of the Friends is simply terrific, and of enormous value to the Upper Mississippi River region and its residents,” said Foss.
  • Dairyland Power Cooperative is pleased to announce the promotion of Rob Palmberg to the position of Vice President, Generation, effective May 4, 2012. He succeeds Chuck Sans Crainte, who will be retiring after 41 years of service to Dairyland.
  • The Ladysmith Lions Club is holding its first annual Ice Fishing Tournament on the Dairyland Reservoir on Sunday, Feb. 26. The ability to have the event is largely the result of a successful fish habitat enhancement project led by the Rusk County Wildlife Restoration Association (WRA) and supported by Dairyland. Over 150 deep water fish structures (made of rock, logs and brush) were placed on the lake bed, and 75 fish structures were constructed and placed along the shoreline. These structures were created from whole pine trees which were cut and anchored parallel to the lake bed with cinder blocks. Field stone was laid on top of the trees to complete the habitat structure. Numerous “spiders”—pine trees cut in thirds and anchored to the lakebed—were placed on the shoreline. This winter, whole pine trees were weighted at the base and sunk vertically in deep water areas. The structures have helped forage species such as troutperch and emerald shiners flourish, along with game fish-smallmouth bass, walleye and muskie. Yellow perch and bluegill have also benefited.

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    A Touchstone Energy Cooperative
    A Touchstone Energy Cooperative