Currents

IMG_0015 Prairie State Shimkus

Prairie State Generating Company celebrates first year

Prairie State Generating Company celebrated its ­inaugural meeting May 2 at the Lively Grove energy campus that includes a state of the art 1,600-megawatt generating facility and coal mine. The ­facility is owned by nine member owners, including Southern Illinois Power Cooperative and Prairie Power, Inc., which are both not-for-profit, ­member-owned Illinois ­generation and transmission ­cooperatives. Six not-for-profit municipal power ­organizations ...Read More

Seven students win electric co-op scholarships

Don Wood, Vice President of Government Relations for the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives, announced the names of the seven winners of the 2013 Thomas H. Moore IEC Memorial Scholarship in May. “There were hundreds of applications received this year and, as always, a large number were extremely qualified applicants,” said Wood. The amount of each scholarship is $1,500. Anyone ...Read More

How to pick a fuel-sipping vehicle

The Energy Department and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on December 6 released the 2013 Fuel Economy Guide, giving consumers information to help them choose the most fuel-efficient and lowest greenhouse gas-emitting vehicles. The 2013 models include efficient and low-emission vehicles in a variety of classes and sizes, but notable this year is the growing availability of hybrids and ...Read More

IMG_6806

Ground breaking held for new cooperative solar facility

On May 10, Illinois Rural Electric Cooperative held a ground breaking for its 500-­kilowatt solar facility that is being built south of Winchester on Illinois Highway 106, next to one of the substations that serves the co-op’s 7,800 members. The complete solar array will cover four acres. At full capacity, it could ­provide enough electricity for about 170 homes on ...Read More

linemen

National Lineman Appreciation Day

The U.S. Senate in recognizing April 18, 2013, as National Lineman Appreciation Day passed a resolution honoring lineworkers for their efforts at keeping power flowing. Across the nation, more than 19,000 men and women maintain 2.5 million miles of line for electric co-ops, public power districts and public utility districts. A bill introduced by U.S. Sens. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) and ...Read More

Central Illinois Autism Therapeutic Services receives geothermal heat pump grant

A $4,533 GeoAlliance grant was presented in April, to Central Illinois Autism Therapeutic Services (CIATS). The grant will help to offset the cost of the highly energy ­efficient geothermal heating and cooling ­system that was recently installed in the facility. The grant was from GeoAlliance, a collaboration between the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives (AIEC) in Springfield and Illinois Clean ...Read More

Burying power lines costs five to ten times more

After every major outage storm like Hurricane Sandy there is always what seems like a logical question, “why not bury all the lines?” What most utility customers, commen­tators and political leaders may not understand is just how much more expensive underground line construction can be. This past summer the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released a primer on the cost ...Read More

FDA release of food safety rules

The Food and Drug ­Adminis­tration released proposed rules detailing standards for produce safety and preventive controls for human food production in January. The release of the rules is a major step in the implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) signed into law two years ago. The law is the first significant overhaul to our nation’s food safety laws ...Read More

EPA finalizes emergency generator rule

Electric cooperatives will be able to use small emergency generators, with restrictions and paperwork requirements, to ensure a ­stable flow of electricity at the local and regional level, under new federal regulations.In a rule announced Jan. 15, the Environmental Protection Agency said units could run 100 hours a year for emergency demand response, maintenance and testing without being subjected to ...Read More

Rail shipping costs increasing for coal

Over the last 10 years shipping coal by railroad to power plants has increased almost 50 percent, and rail accounts for 70 percent of the transportation of coal, according to a new report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Though there are significant regional differences, transportation cost accounts for 40 percent of the average overall cost of coal. With a ...Read More