The grid is made up of small distribution lines and large transmission lines like this. The transmission grid is analogous to an interstate highway system for electricity. The Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator, Inc. (MISO) plans and operates this interstate highway for ­electricity. PPI, a generation and transmission co-op serving the generation and transmission needs of 10 central Illinois distribution co-ops recently joined MISO. Being a MISO transmission owner will ensure the co-op has a say when it comes to the planning and operations of the transmission grid.

Prairie Power, Inc. join MISO

On Feb. 21, the Board of Directors of the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator, Inc. (MISO) approved the application of Prairie Power, Inc. (PPI) to be formally recognized as a transmission owner. PPI is a central Illinois generation and transmission (G&T) ­cooperative headquartered in Jacksonville and owned by 10 electric distribution cooperatives.  MISO is an essential link in the safe, ...Read More

Report says co-ops leading in smart grid growth

Federal regulators are paying attention to the work electric cooperatives are doing in advancing smart grid technologies among their members. Electric co-ops lead the nation in adoption of smart grid technologies for their members, federal regulators say. A report issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) noted that co-ops remained national ­leaders in implementing advanced metering in 2012. Electric ...Read More

Co-ops develop smart grid and renewable energy evaluation tool

Electric cooperatives and other ­utilities will soon have a customizable set of tools that will help decision-makers determine the potential value of adding smart grid components and renewable energy to their distribution feeders. The Cooperative Research Network’s (CRN) Open Modeling Framework will enable electric co-op and other utility planners to make projections about the impact of solar panels and other ...Read More

Illinois Residential Energy Conservation Code updated

On January 1, 2013, the State of Illinois implemented the 2012 Illinois Energy Conservation Code. The update is based on the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code with Illinois amendments through the Illinois Energy Efficient Building Act.   For example, the new code requires R-49 ceiling insulation, R-20 in the walls and R-19 for insulating the floors.   As part of ...Read More


Grants will open new markets for fresh produce in Illinois

The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) is accepting applications for federal specialty crop grants. The funds from the USDA are intended to strengthen the com­petitiveness of the state’s specialty crop industry. “Expanding access to nutritious, homegrown Illinois food is one of my top priorities,” Agriculture Director Bob Flider said. “If we could increase local food purchases to just 10 percent ...Read More

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Ridenour receives Touchstone Energy Cooperatives Distingushed Service Award

Aaron Ridenour, manager of marketing and business development at Prairie Power, Inc., received the Touchstone Energy® Cooperatives Distinguished Service Award during the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Annual Meeting held in New Orleans, February 15-21. The Distinguished Service Award is the highest honor bestowed by Touchstone Energy Cooperatives and is presented annually to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to ...Read More

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Carson elected NRECA secretary-treasurer

Phil Carson (left) a board director for Tri-County Electric Cooperative, Mount Vernon, was elected secretary-treasurer of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) at the organization’s annual meeting on Feb. 20, 2013 in New Orleans. Carson joins newly elected NRECA officers Mel Coleman, NRECA board vice-president and CEO of North Arkansas Electric Cooperative; Curtis Nolan, NRECA board president and board ...Read More

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Hempen represents Illinois Youth Tour at national meeting

Sarah Hempen of Columbia rep­resented Monroe Electric Co-Operative in Washington, D.C., during the annual “Youth to Washington” Tour, June 15-22. She and other Illinois students met with Congressman Jerry Costello and were among 75 rural Illinois youth leaders selected for the trip. During the trip, Hempen was chosen by her peers to represent Illinois on the Youth Leadership Council (YLC) ...Read More

Wind energy top source for new generation in 2012

The U.S. wind energy industry had its strongest year ever in 2012, the American Wind Energy Association announced today, ­installing a record 13,124 megawatts (MW) of electric generating capacity, ­leveraging $25 billion in private investment and achieving over 60,000 MW of ­cumulative wind capacity. That’s enough wind power to power the ­equivalent of almost 15 million homes. Wind energy for ...Read More

Biodiesel production tops 1 billion gallons

The U.S. biodiesel industry broke the billion-gallon mark in 2012 for the second consecutive year, according to year-end production figures from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) noted that the total volume of nearly 1.1 billion gallons exceeded the 2011 production by 6 million gallons. December production totaled just 59 million gallons, the lowest monthly ...Read More