Cooperatives congratulate Senate on approving bill to strengthen cybersecurity

Following Senate passage of the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015 (CISA) on October 27, Kirk Johnson, senior vice-president of government relations at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, thanked Chairman Richard Burr and Vice Chair Diane Feinstein for bipar­tisan leadership on a bill to promote multi­directional voluntary infor­mation sharing by the government and ­businesses in response to cyber threats. ...Read More

Helping dedicate the Prairie Power Spoon River Solar Farm on Friday were nearly 100 students from Astoria. They joined (l-r) Prairie Power Board Chairman Jim Thompson, Interim President/CEO Dan Breden, U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, State Rep. Michel Unes and Spoon River Electric Cooperative President/CEO Bill Dodds. The 500 kW solar farm includes a unique interactive learning center that is open to the public. It is located 3 miles northeast of Summum, Ill. along Highway 24.

Illinois electric cooperatives dedicate two solar farms

Prairie Power, Inc., a Springfield, Ill. based generation and transmission cooperative providing wholesale power to ten Illinois electric distribution cooperatives, dedicated two 500 kW solar farms in October. The Spoon River Solar Farm, located between Havana and Astoria on Highway 24, also includes a unique learning center. The Shelby Solar Farm is located along Highway 16, approximately 1 mile east ...Read More

The Carthage, Ill., facility, referred to as Maple Grove Apartments, gives patients with dementia and other cognitive issues a home-like and family-oriented environment with a small number of residents per building and central common areas for socializing and meals.

USDA helps two Illinois co-ops with rural economic development

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in October announced $12.5 million in loans and grants for 39 ­projects that will help rural businesses in 21 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Two of the projects are in Illinois electric ­cooperative territories. “Supporting small, rural businesses helps create jobs and helps promote entrepreneurship,” Vilsack said. “USDA Rural Development’s field structure enables our ...Read More


Controlling your home with a smartphone

For busy families juggling to keep up with the pace of life, technology brings convenience and peace of mind to home life, making things easier for all of us. It is now possible to control lighting throughout the interior and exterior of your home using your smartphone. With the proper bulbs, in-home Wi-Fi network and an app on your phone ...Read More

Carbon monoxide detector

Carbon monoxide poisoning dangers increase during winter

This winter the Illinois Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) is stepping up its efforts to raise ­awareness about fire safety as well as the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning. Be proactive and check batteries on the carbon ­monoxide detectors to make sure they will work when needed. Don’t let this silent killer take the lives of your loved ...Read More

Old coal plant converted to renewable biomass shutting down

In October, DTE Energy Services said it was closing its wood-burning Stoneman biomass generating ­station for economic reasons, including lower natural gas prices and higher transportation costs for the biomass fuel. The plant provides renewable power to Dairyland Power Cooperative, a generation and transmission ­cooperative serving Jo-Carroll Energy an Elizabeth, Ill. based ­distribution co-op. The small 40-megawatt plant employed 27 ...Read More

Raising the Flag Lineman Rodeo 2015 IMG_4675

18th Annual Lineman’s Safety Rodeo held in Springfield

The flag was raised to the top of a pole by hand, in lineman fashion, at the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperative’s 18th Annual Lineman’s Safety Rodeo held in Springfield, Sept. 18. At the rodeo, 14 co-op lineman teams were judged not just on their skill, but their safe practice of those skills. The winning team this year was from SouthEastern Illinois Electric Cooperative ...Read More

Indiana Tornadoes 2012

Tools to prepare for an emergency

“Emergencies can hit without warning, and the aftermath can affect small businesses and schools the most,” says Dominick Tolli, Vice President of Preparedness for the American Red Cross. The good news is that pre-planning tools exist to enable businesses, ­organizations and individuals to measure how ready they are to deal with ­emergencies. Check out the self-paced Red Cross Ready Rating ...Read More

EPA tightens ozone standard

The Environmental Protection Agency ­tightened the ozone pollution standard from 75 parts per billion to 70 parts per billion, a move the agency says will protect public health and leave only 14 counties out of compliance by 2025. Ozone, a gas created when volatile organic compounds or nitrogen oxides mix with sunlight, can lead to smog formation. Any combustion source, ...Read More

Spoon River Solar Farm IMG_1646

Solar farms growing in electric co-op territories

Two generation and transmission cooperatives ­serving distribution ­cooperatives in Illinois are adding solar farms to their generation portfolios. Prairie Power, Inc. ­dedicated two 500 kW solar farms in October, and Hoosier Energy had an open house at a 1-megawatt solar farm in September. The Hoosier Energy solar farm is the second of 10 solar farms that the G&T cooperative is ...Read More