Dairyland Power Cooperative

Press Release Archive - 2013

  • Dairyland Power Cooperative has donated a total of $15,000 to the Town of Genoa towards the purchase of a new water tanker truck for the Genoa-Harmony Fire Department. Dairyland contributed $10,000, which was then matched in part by CoBank, a national cooperative bank, through CoBank’s Sharing Success program. CoBank provided an additional $5,000, the maximum donation allowed through the program, enabling a total contribution of $15,000. The Genoa-Harmony Fire Department serves the entirety of Dairyland’s property located in both the Town and Village of Genoa. Dairyland’s Genoa Site property includes a coal-fired generating station, shut-down nuclear facility and dry cask storage installation. “The safety of our employees and the public is Dairyland’s top priority. This contribution to the Town of Genoa directly supports that priority by helping fund life-saving equipment for the area fire department. A well equipped fire department is critically important in any community, and we are pleased to have an opportunity to provide funding assistance for the specialized vehicle,” said Brian Rude, Vice President, External and Member Relations.
  • Dairyland Power is implementing plans to indefinitely suspend operations at the coal-fired Alma Station (units 4 and 5) located in Alma, Wis., by early 2015. “Dairyland is making every effort to minimize impacts on our employees,” said Bill Berg, President and CEO. “We are offering eligible employees an early retirement program and have held several other recent positions open following retirements which will give some employees the opportunity to move into other vacant positions within our cooperative.” Many factors are considered when making important business decisions regarding the continued operation of a generation facility. “These include age of the facility, system capacity requirements, regulatory requirements, projected maintenance needs and costs, fuel supply, overall cost of power production and regional market prices for energy,” said Berg. “This decision also aligns with Dairyland’s generation resource plans that include the diversification of its resource mix, including the continued addition of renewable resources.”
  • Dairyland Power has been identified as having made the most progress in meeting the Wisconsin Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) among utilities in the state, according to a report prepared for and accepted by the Public Service Commission (PSC). The PSC’s 2012 RPS Compliance Report tracks utility compliance and action towards Wisconsin’s RPS. Each Wisconsin electric provider’s RPS in 2015 is 6 percent above the average renewable percentage for the years 2001-2003. The RPS requires Dairyland to source 8.44 percent of its total member retail load from renewable forms of energy by 2015. In 2012, almost 12.5 percent of Dairyland’s total Class A member sales came from renewable energy resources, which will help Dairyland meet current and potential future renewable requirements in all the states we serve. Dairyland owns or purchases a variety of renewable generation including hydroelectric, wind, landfill gas, biomass, animal waste and solar.
  • Dairyland Power and the Town of Genoa have collaborated to provide a restroom facility at the Genoa boat landing. Fishermen and recreational boaters will have access to a permanent two-unit restroom facility, replacing the two port-a-potties that had been at the location. The Genoa boat landing sees the most traffic of all landings in Pool 9 of the Mississippi River. The vault-style facilities are similar to the Wisconsin state park models, featuring a modern venting system and motion-sensitive lighting for greater efficiency. Both are handicap accessible, with concrete ramps and handrails in each unit. Lepke Trucking & Excavating LLC (Chaseburg, Wis.) was the primary contractor for the project. Huffcutt Concrete Inc. (Chippewa Falls, Wis.) provided the structure and venting system. “In cooperation with the Town of Genoa, Dairyland is pleased to be a part of this local effort to improve comfort and convenience at the boat landing. The joint project was completed in time for prime boating season,” said Brad Foss, Dairyland Senior Environmental Biologist.
  • Approximately 600 electric cooperative leaders and guests attended Dairyland’s 72nd annual meeting at the La Crosse Center on June 5. Dan Korn, Chairman of the Board and director representing Vernon Electric Cooperative, presided over the meeting. The theme of the meeting was Power with Purpose, referring to Dairyland’s mission as a cooperative utility to improve quality of life by powering communities and empowering members. Following that theme in his primary address, William Berg, Dairyland President and CEO, provided a bit of a history lesson in how progress is made. He noted that, through the ages, progress in seemingly unrelated areas has had an immediate or future impact on the purpose of another, and the lives of people worldwide. “By looking back and seeing all the amazing connections between the ideas and inventions from centuries ago, we can gain a greater appreciation for the potential impact that our actions today may have on the future. We have Power with Purpose today, but we also need to have confidence that our efforts today may lead to even greater things for our members in the future,” said Berg. Berg called the audience to action, pointing out that the work of staying relevant never stops. “Success today, or any day, does not necessarily lead to success in the future. Maintaining flexibility and the ability to make strategic changes is essential.”
  • Dairyland Power has been recognized by the Driftless Region Bicycle Coalition (DRBC) with a 2013 Golden Helmet award for “getting more people on bikes more often.” The award is the result of a friendly competition among La Crosse area companies to increase active commuting during the recent Coulee Region Bike to Work Week. Area companies registered to compete in such categories as the number of bicyclists at their businesses, and the number of miles logged by participants during Bike to Work Week. “It’s great that DRBC recognizes companies that are encouraging employees to bike to work and promoting active commuting in general. Bicyclists from Dairyland had fun with the competition and it helped kick-start good active commuting habits to carry through the summer biking season,” said Ed West, year-around bicycling enthusiast and Dairyland Director, Information Services. Dairyland was third in both the Most Miles and Highest Percentage of Participants with over 100 Employees categories, helping the cooperative earn a 2013 “coveted” Golden Helmet award. Participating employees at Dairyland registered a total of 254 miles during the Bike to Work Week in mid-May. For more information on DRBC, see www.driftlessbicycle.org.
  • 85 falcon chicks have fledged from Dairyland’s nesting sites since the mid-1990s A slow start to spring hasn’t stopped the annual return of Peregrine falcons to the Coulee Region and Dairyland’s nesting boxes. The 2013 Peregrine falcon season began at Dairyland in late February with the sighting of a falcon at Dairyland’s Genoa (Wis.) power plant nesting box. Falcons arrived at the Alma (Wis.) power plant site in early March. Mating pairs of falcons at both Alma and Genoa Site nesting boxes are incubating a full clutch of eggs, with hatching expected in early to mid-May. Fledging of the chicks will likely occur in late June or early July. Keep up with the falcons via the Bird Cam Cameras are installed at both the Alma and Genoa power plant locations to capture “real time” online birdwatching at the nesting boxes. Click on the Bird Cam on the bottom left side of the home page for images of the falcons’ 2013 nesting season. About the falcon program Dairyland has been fostering the return of the Peregrine falcon to its natural territory along the Upper Mississippi since the 1990s. To learn more about the program and recent successes, click here.
  • Ice Fishermen and Snowmobilers Should Use Caution on the Dairyland Reservoir Dairyland Power urges caution to those who are using the Dairyland Reservoir for recreational activities this time of year. The ice becomes unstable and dangerous as spring approaches. Fishermen and boaters should also be cautious near the spillway, since dangerous currents can develop as flows increase. Dairyland is implementing a normal drawdown of up to two feet, as the spring run-off starts. The total drawdown could be as much as three feet, depending on the amount of additional precipitation and the rate of snow melt. The Flambeau Hydroelectric Station, located on the Flambeau River five miles northeast of Ladysmith, has been generating clean, efficient electricity since 1951. This water-powered facility can generate 24 MW of electricity. Throughout the year, Dairyland welcomes area residents and visitors to enjoy the many recreational opportunities available on both the Reservoir and the public land surrounding it.
  • Dairyland has donated a total of $10,000 to the La Crosse Community Theatre in support of the newly developed Weber Center for the Performing Arts, located in downtown La Crosse on the Mississippi River waterfront. Dairyland Power contributed $5,000, which was then matched in full by CoBank, a national cooperative bank, through CoBank’s Sharing Success program. “An important part of Dairyland’s mission as a cooperative business is to enhance the social and economic well being of the region. A contribution to the Weber Center is a wonderful match for this mission. Along with the rest of the community, we are excited to visit and enjoy the new facility,” said Brian Rude, Dairyland Vice President, External and Member Relations. The Weber Center for the Performing Arts is opening with a debut performance of Macbeth. The La Crosse Community Theatre and Viterbo University collaborated on the center, which will greatly augment the region’s arts and theatre opportunities. The center will utilize state-of-the-art sound and lighting, a main theatre and secondary “Black Box” performance area, orchestra pit, expansive lobby and rooftop terrace for the full theatre experience.

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    A Touchstone Energy Cooperative
    A Touchstone Energy Cooperative