Currents

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 […]

EPA’s greenhouse gas regulations fail to consider the economic impact on Americans

Electric rates will be forced even higher by the EPA’s new greenhouse gas regulations released in August, and that will impact rural America with job losses and higher energy costs. National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) CEO Jo Ann Emerson made the following statement about the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) final rules regulating greenhouse gas […]

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Nation’s energy infrastructure needs an upgrade

Our nation’s energy infrastructure fuels our economy, and reliable and affordable energy is critical to our ­success as a nation. At the same time our aging energy infrastructure is being asked to take on some dramatic changes in ­technology, policy and regulation. A new, first-ever Quadrennial Energy Review released at the end of April uses […]

Co-ops applaud President’s signing new water heater efficiency legislation

National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) CEO Jo Ann Emerson thanked President Barack Obama for signing into law a new efficiency standard for large-capacity water heaters deployed in demand response programs. Emerson also welcomed the Senate and House focusing on additional energy efficiency legislation. “Co-ops have been in the business of saving members money for […]

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Co-ops help launch Veterans Utility Industry Workforce Initiative

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) joined with the U.S. Department of Energy, other federal ­agencies and ­utility trade organizations in ­launching the Utility Industry Workforce Initiative. The focus of the initiative is to recruit and train ­service ­members, veterans and military spouses to qualify for high-skilled jobs in the utility industry. “Line crews […]