Dairyland Power Cooperative announced a significant expansion of wind resources at its recent 75th Annual Meeting. The company has reached a power purchase agreement with EDP Renewables North America, and will purchase renewable energy from a 98-MW wind project in southwestern Wisconsin.
EDP Renewables will develop, operate, and maintain the Quilt Block Wind Farm, located 20 miles southeast of Platteville. The project is currently working through the MISO generation interconnect process. Construction is expected to begin in 2017, with commercial operation beginning toward the end of that year.
“At last year’s annual meeting, I announced that Dairyland was pursuing up to 25 MW of solar energy. This year, as we celebrate our 75th year, we demonstrate that we do what we say,” said Barbara Nick, Dairyland President and CEO. “Dairyland’s growing solar and wind initiatives are key components of our strategic objective of Resource Diversification — essentially, less coal, with more renewables and low-emitting generation sources. Having said that, our existing coal facilities — complete with $300 million in environmental control technology—are still essential to reliability.”
Nick outlined the cooperative’s plan to diversify its energy resources intentionally and thoughtfully by using the best economic decisions for a sustainable resource mix. “We will meet today’s challenges, while staying true to our core mission—powering communities and empowering members to improve the quality of life with safe, sustainable, reliable and competitively-priced electricity,” she said.
Nick commended the pioneers who created and built Dairyland’s strong foundation. “Today, we still lighten lives and empower communities,” she said. “We are proud of our past, and optimistic for our future because we are Living the Cooperative Advantage… the theme of our meeting.”
Approximately 600 electric cooperative leaders and guests attended Dairyland’s 75th annual meeting.
Dairyland Vice President and CFO Phil Moilien provided a 2015 Financial Report: “Balancing the importance of long-term financial stability and keeping rates as low as practical, Dairyland’s Board of Directors approved a 2016 budget with less than 2% average wholesale rate increase over 2015. The largest contributing costs are associated with planned environmental improvements, local and regional transmission improvements/projects, the cost of fuel and transportation, purchased power, and transmission costs from others.