Currents

Community solar project opened at Jo-Carroll Energy

This year could be a tremendous year for community solar system development. “The biggest trend for solar at utilities is community solar,” says Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) Senior Research Manager Becky Campbell, co-author of the report “Expanding Solar Access Through Utility-led Community Solar.” Community solar is a shared renewable ­program that allows co-op members […]

USDA Rural Development supports Illinois jobs

USDA Rural Development has made investments to help 493 rural businesses in Illinois thrive and grow. USDA invests in everything from advanced biofuels manufacturing ­facilities to food hubs to help businesses, many of them small, ­capitalize on emerging markets for rural-made products. USDA Rural Development’s goal is to promote a dynamic business environment and create […]

Shelby Electric Cooperative helps fund new jobs with USDA loan

IHI Turbo America is adding production to their ­current automotive and marine parts manufacturing, adding 30 new jobs at the Shelbyville plant in 2015. The expansion was made possible with a $2 million loan through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development program to Shelby Electric Cooperative. The new assembly line is expected to be […]

Military and veteran students to get academic credits for military training

The Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, in ­cooperation with the Illinois Community College Board, several community colleges, the Illinois Board of Higher Education and MyCreditsTransfer, recently completed a collaborative project to grant veteran and military students appropriate academic credit for the education and training they gained in military service. In this “Making Military Training Count” […]

Glenwood Schools receive geothermal rebates

At the Ball-Chatham School Board meeting on Nov. 24, the ­district received an energy efficiency grant check for $50,000 for a new geothermal heating and cooling ­system for Glenwood Middle School. The grant was obtained by Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative (RECC), through the GeoAlliance program. GeoAlliance is a collaboration between the Association of Illinois Electric […]

NERC says EPA plan raises reliability concerns

Increased dependence on natural gas and renewable energy ­generation carry significant new infrastructure requirements. New wind and solar energy to meet the shortfall from fossil ­generation shutdowns under the proposed ne EPA regulation will demand ­additional transmission lines, like those in this photo, to access ­renewable resources in remote areas. New transmission lines for ­renewable […]

HomE 3.0 energy efficiency incentives available now through your cooperative

Since mid-2010, more than $3.5 million in incentive dollars have gone to Illinois electric cooperative members making home energy efficiency upgrades through a series of HomE (pronounced “home E”) rebate incentives. The HomE incentives will continue in early 2015, with about $400,000 available to cooperative ­members. Funding is available for geothermal heat pumps, qualifying air […]

Illinois linemen rescue crash victims

Driving the roads of rural Illinois co-op employees are often the first on the scene of an accident. That’s when their safety training and ­willingness to help can save lives. In November three members of an electric cooperative line crew began their work week by ­helping the ­victims of a head-on collision. Seconds after a […]

National water use at lowest levels since before 1970

Water use across the country reached its lowest recorded level in nearly 45 years. According to a new USGS report, about 355 billion gallons of water per day (Bgal/d) were withdrawn for use in the entire United States during 2010. This represents a 13 percent reduction of water use from 2005 when about 410 Bgal/d […]

Route 66 gets electric car charging stations

A portion of historic Route 66 will soon be getting a network of electric vehicle charging stations. This will allow drivers of all-electric cars to drive the 300 mile stretch from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River near St. Louis and not worry about running out of juice. Maybe this will spark a new way […]