Currents

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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 […]

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Clean Power Plan final regulation unveiled in 1,560 pages

In early August, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its final Clean Power Plan rule, a rule limiting the carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants. While the rule is 1,560 pages long and complicated, in general it is designed to reduce coal-fired ­generation, while promoting the increased use of renewable energy, like wind […]

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Illinois Touchstone Energy Co-ops at Farm Progress Show

Several Illinois Touchstone Energy ­cooperatives showed attendees at the world’s fair of agriculture, the 62nd Farm Progress Show in Decatur, how to save energy and be safe around electricity. Attendees from across the country and the world were able to check out the “Energy Efficiency Wall” with insulation and air sealing examples. The ­cooperative energy […]

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Hoosier Energy adds renewable energy resource

In August, Hoosier Energy announced plans to ­construct the Cabin Creek renewable energy ­project, a 4-megawatt landfill gas facility, at the Randolph Farms Landfill. The renewable energy plant will be the fourth landfill methane gas (LMG) facility for the electric power supply cooperative. Cabin Creek is part of Hoosier Energy’s strategy of ­furthering its all-of-the-above, […]

Wood waste market research could benefit Illinois business

The U.S. Forestry Service (USFS) is working with ­sustainability experts at the University of Illinois, Western Illinois University (WIU), and the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus to investigate the use of wood waste by businesses as a cheaper and renewable source of heat energy. An estimated nine million tons of renewable wood in Illinois could be ­utilized […]

In April, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk announced the formation of Tesla Energy, which he called a group of batteries based on those used in its electric cars. The new batteries would be designed for homes and businesses to use as backup in a power outage, or to use photovoltaic cells to charge the battery during the day so that electricity could be supplied by solar power at night. Photo Credits: Tesla Motors

A battery in your house could change the electricity industry

The latest energy gizmo is a battery, about as big as a medium size flat-screen TV that looks good enough to hang on a wall in your home. It could supply backup electricity during a power outage. Or, if you’re the kind of ­person with photovoltaic cells on your roof, you could charge it up […]

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Rep. Davis receives electric cooperatives’ Public Service Award

At the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives annual ­meeting in Springfield on July 31, U.S. Representative Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville, 13th Congressional District) received the 2015 Illinois Electric Cooperatives’ Public Service Award. The award was made in recog­nition of Rep. Davis’ dedicated public service to all ­citizens of the state of Illinois and for outstanding ­contributions […]

Electric co-ops and White House officials discuss collaboration on efficiency and renewable energy

National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) CEO Jo Ann Emerson joined co-op leaders and officials from the White House Rural Council and the USDA’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) in late July to discuss recent progress and potential collaboration on efficiency and renewable energy development. “We had a productive conver­sation about how we can maximize the […]

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Two solar farms under construction at Illinois electric cooperatives

Prairie Power, Inc., a Springfield-based generation and transmission ­cooperative providing wholesale power to ten Illinois electric distribution ­cooperatives, is building two 500 kW solar farms. Each solar farm will be located on approximately five acres and have 2,062 solar panels. Despite heavy rainfall during construction the two projects are on schedule. The two farms are expected […]

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History comes full circle as co-ops take over IOU territory

More than 80 years ago investor-owned ­utilities served cities and small towns passing by rural farms they ­considered too few and far between to be ­profitable to serve. Today that ­historical decision is coming full circle in some areas. Just a few years ago ­investor-owned utility Alliant Energy sold some of its service territory to […]