Rural grocery store startup guide available

A new edition of the “Rural Grocery Store Start-Up and Operations Guide” has been released by the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs (IIRA) at Western Illinois University. The guide is available for free download, ­according to Fred Iutzi, who manages IIRA’s outreach to the food and agriculture sectors. “This guide is a valuable resource for Illinois entrepreneurs and ­community leaders ...Read More


DOE pulls the plug on hope for Illinois’ FutureGen clean coal project

At a time when our most plentiful and affordable energy source is at a crossroads, the Obama adminis­tration has pulled the plug on FutureGen 2.0., which everyone hoped would be America’s first near-zero emissions coal-fueled power plant. The FutureGen concept was initiated as part of the Clinton Administration’s Vision 21 program and has enjoyed strong bipartisan Congressional support. The original ...Read More

EPA delays carbon dioxide rule until mid-summer

Final federal regulations to control carbon dioxide emissions from new, modified and existing electric generating units will be delayed until mid-summer, the Environmental Protection Agency said Jan. 7. NRECA CEO Jo Ann Emerson said EPA should use the extra time to study the 1.2 million comments that flooded the agency from advocates for electric cooperatives concerned about the proposals’ impact ...Read More

Energy forecast predicts more demand and less coal supply

In its recent Short-Term Energy Outlook report, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) made its first forecasts of energy supply and demand in 2016. Demand is expected to increase slightly in 2016, while the share of coal-fired generation continues to fall. EIA expects residential retail sales of electricity to decline by 0.3 percent in 2015, largely due to milder winter ...Read More

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2015 is the International Year of Light

Did you know that the United Nations named 2015 the International Year of Light? Last year’s Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded for the invention of improved light-emitting diodes, ­better known as LED lamps. Yet, many people switch on the lights without knowing where the elec­tricity comes from, how it is made, or the impact of their energy-use decisions. The ...Read More

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Hannah recognized by Illinois Cooperative Council

Jacqueline Hannah, General Manager of Common Ground Food Cooperative, Urbana, was ­presented with the 2014 Illinois Cooperative Council’s (ICC) Outstanding Cooperative Manager Award on Monday, Jan. 13. Presenting Hannah (right) with the Illinois Cooperative Council’s Outstanding Manager Award, is ICC Chair Nancy Rhoads McDonald. Hannah also recently became the Co-op Development Specialist with the national Food Co-op Initiative The ...Read More


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 to share the benefits of ...Read More

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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 oppor­tunities for rural employment. It ...Read More

Soon this factory floor at IHI Turbo America in Shelbyville will have new equipment and 30 new employees making turbochargers for Audi. Inspecting the new addition are Josh Shallenberger, COO Shelby Electric Cooperative; John Schuessler, General Manager IHI Turbo America; James Coleman, President/CEO Shelby Electric; Mike Price, Controller IHI Turbo; and Aaron Ridenour, Marketing & Business Development Prairie Power, Inc.

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 installed in January with full ...Read More


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” initiative, the College of DuPage, ...Read More