Three electric co-ops bringing fiber-based broadband to the heartland

Calix, Inc. in February announced that Illinois Electric Cooperative, Barry Electric Cooperative and Callaway Electric Cooperative are all transforming their businesses by expanding into broadband service delivery within their respective service areas in Illinois and Missouri. Now, residential and business subscribers alike will be able to take advantage of fiber-based voice, video and high-speed Internet […]

Illinois pioneers of rural electrification

Robert R. Wagner served as the AIEC Board President from 1959-64. Following the ­retirement of AIEC General Manager A.E. Becker, in December 1960, Wagner acted as the interim manager ­during the management search. Under Wagner’s ­leadership, the AIEC and its programs were broadened and ­strengthened to better serve its member cooperatives. Wagner was also ­instrumental […]

Dairyland Power Cooperative announces major solar projects

Dairyland Power Cooperative has finalized agreements with two developers to purchase over 15 MW of renewable energy from multiple new utility-scale photovoltaic solar facilities in Wisconsin. Dairyland Power serves 25 ­distribution cooperatives, including Jo-Carroll Energy in Illinois. The generation and transmission cooperative has been a national leader in methane digester generation using waste from dairy […]

On Earth Day let’s remember the importance of soil conservation

More than one billion people in 192 countries ­participate annually in Earth Day activities and events to celebrate ­protecting our environment, making it the ­largest civic observance in the world. Even as they plant trees and participate in other Earth Day celebrations, many don’t realize that soil conservation should be our first priority. Soil is […]

Co-ops heat up geothermal energy in Illinois

Incentives for businesses served by Illinois electric ­cooperatives to install geothermal HVAC systems have ended, but savings in energy costs generated by the dozens of ­projects it helped fund will last for years to come. “The grants are the gift that keeps giving,” said Nancy McDonald, marketing administrator at the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives. […]

Supreme Court puts EPA Clean Power Plan on hold

With a 5-4 vote the Supreme Court on Feb. 9 issued a one-page order ­temporarily blocking the EPA’s Clean Power Plan from ­taking effect until legal challenges are resolved. The ­decision indicates a majority of the judges felt that denying the request for a stay would cause irreparable harm to the 29 states ­requesting the […]

Corn Belt Energy’s Volker new Chairman of Association of Energy Services Professionals

Michael Volker, Vice President of Utility Services for Corn Belt Energy Corporation, Bloomington, has been named the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Association of Energy Services Professionals (AESP). “As Chair, Michael will lead AESP’s initiatives to further the North American energy efficiency industry and increase its visibility as an industry that ­produces […]

Illinois pioneers of rural electrification

G. Wayne Welsh G. Wayne Welsh had a lengthy and distinguished career in the field of rural electrification. As an original member of the McDonough Power Cooperative rural electrification committee, Welsh played a leading role in early efforts to get electricity to rural McDonough County. He became one of the cooperative’s incor­porators and served on […]

GE drops CFL bulbs in favor of LED

General Electric (GE) in February announced plans to ditch its CFL lighting business in favor of more energy efficient LED lighting options. The move may seem suprising but that is how fast lighting technology is changing. LED lights still cost more up front, but in addition to being more energy ­efficient they last longer than […]

McLean County Museum program helping seniors share memories

Nearly 1.8 million people in Illinois are aged sixty-five or older. Twelve percent of those seniors live with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. As these numbers grow, museums, libraries and other cultural organizations can play a significant role in improving the quality of life of seniors. The McLean County Museum of History’s Senior […]