Currents

On Earth Day let’s remember the importance of soil conservation

More than one billion people in 192 countries ­participate annually in Earth Day activities and events to celebrate ­protecting our environment, making it the ­largest civic observance in the world. Even as they plant trees and participate in other Earth Day celebrations, many don’t realize that soil conservation should be our first priority. Soil is […]

Co-ops heat up geothermal energy in Illinois

Incentives for businesses served by Illinois electric ­cooperatives to install geothermal HVAC systems have ended, but savings in energy costs generated by the dozens of ­projects it helped fund will last for years to come. “The grants are the gift that keeps giving,” said Nancy McDonald, marketing administrator at the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives. […]

Supreme Court puts EPA Clean Power Plan on hold

With a 5-4 vote the Supreme Court on Feb. 9 issued a one-page order ­temporarily blocking the EPA’s Clean Power Plan from ­taking effect until legal challenges are resolved. The ­decision indicates a majority of the judges felt that denying the request for a stay would cause irreparable harm to the 29 states ­requesting the […]

Corn Belt Energy’s Volker new Chairman of Association of Energy Services Professionals

Michael Volker, Vice President of Utility Services for Corn Belt Energy Corporation, Bloomington, has been named the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Association of Energy Services Professionals (AESP). “As Chair, Michael will lead AESP’s initiatives to further the North American energy efficiency industry and increase its visibility as an industry that ­produces […]

Illinois pioneers of rural electrification

G. Wayne Welsh G. Wayne Welsh had a lengthy and distinguished career in the field of rural electrification. As an original member of the McDonough Power Cooperative rural electrification committee, Welsh played a leading role in early efforts to get electricity to rural McDonough County. He became one of the cooperative’s incor­porators and served on […]

GE drops CFL bulbs in favor of LED

General Electric (GE) in February announced plans to ditch its CFL lighting business in favor of more energy efficient LED lighting options. The move may seem suprising but that is how fast lighting technology is changing. LED lights still cost more up front, but in addition to being more energy ­efficient they last longer than […]

McLean County Museum program helping seniors share memories

Nearly 1.8 million people in Illinois are aged sixty-five or older. Twelve percent of those seniors live with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. As these numbers grow, museums, libraries and other cultural organizations can play a significant role in improving the quality of life of seniors. The McLean County Museum of History’s Senior […]

GeoAlliance is closed out with final grant presentation

The final geothermal grant presen­tation was held in November at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale (SIU Carbondale) and signaled the close of the GeoAlliance grant program. SIU received a $50,000 grant to help fund a geothermal heat pump installation for a portion of the Transportation Education Center. The four-phase, $1.5 million GeoAlliance grant program, formed in […]

Co-op crews battle ice, floods and tornadoes

The Christmas season started off with major outages as Mother Nature threw blizzards, tornadoes, floods and ice storms at co-op line crews across the country. Here in Illinois, ice storms hit Corn Belt Energy taking out more than 100 poles, breaking cross arms and downing trees and power lines. Transmission lines serving the co-op’s substations were […]

Thomas H. Moore – Illinois pioneer of rural electrification

In July of 1961, a young Arkansas firebrand named Thomas H. Moore came to Springfield, full of energy, workaholic-like spirit and a bundle of ideas. He was hired by Illinois electric cooperative leaders to lead the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives, a small but growing trade association. Mr. Moore, as he was known by electric […]