La Crosse, WI—Dairyland Power Cooperative will participate in the White House Solar Summit and Champions of Change event being held on Thursday, April 17, at the White House in Washington, D.C. Dairyland was nominated to attend the summit by the Rural Utilities Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Eau Claire Energy Cooperative, a Dairyland member, will also be represented at the Summit.
The summit will recognize local leaders in the U.S. who are taking action to advance solar power. Recently, Dairyland announced it is expanding its renewable energy resources with the addition of two commercial solar projects. Dairyland signed an agreement with Minnesota-Three, LLC, to purchase the renewable energy produced by a large solar facility in Minnesota. The new solar installation will be 517 kilowatts (kW).
Construction of the solar facility has begun and it should be operational by June 1, 2014. A similar project is being constructed near Westby, Wis., during the same time frame.
Dairyland also purchases the excess energy output from a solar generation facility owned by the City of Galena, Ill., the solar installation at the Necedah (Wis.) National Wildlife Refuge and a number of smaller
distributed generation projects. There are about 350 consumer-owned solar photovoltaic facilities in the Dairyland system and that number continues to grow.
Several of Dairyland’s member cooperatives have launched “community solar farms” wherein consumers can participate in a shared solar farm to offset the energy demands of their home or business. The utility and
a contracted solar developer site and maintain the solar farm, so there is no burden to the consumer.
“For many years, we have been steadily adding renewable resources to our system while balancing reliability and affordability,” said Bill Berg, President and CEO. “We are honored by this invitation to the White
House, and pleased to have the opportunity to expand solar generation in cooperation with our members.”
The recently announced solar installations will expand and complement Dairyland’s already diverse renewable portfolio (wind, biogas, biomass, landfill gas, hydro, solar). Dairyland’s renewable resources provide about 13 percent of the energy delivered to its members, which is ahead of current renewable energy requirements in Wisconsin. Dairyland also has a leadership role in the National Renewables Cooperative Organization, which works to develop renewable resources for electric cooperatives across the nation.
With headquarters in La Crosse, Wis., Dairyland provides wholesale electricity to 25 member distribution cooperatives and 17 municipal utilities. A Touchstone Energy Cooperative, Dairyland’s service area
encompasses 62 counties in four states (Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois). Dairyland’s generation resources include coal, natural gas, hydro, wind, biomass, landfill gas, animal waste and solar. For more information, please visit www.dairynet.com
Category: Local News