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Co-op investing in Prairie State Generation Complex, the new state-of-the-art clean coal power plant near Lively Grove, Ill.
Adams Electric Cooperative members had the opportunity to hear about a variety of ways the Cooperative is concerned about community during its 74th annual meeting held last week at Bailey Park in Camp Point.
Cooperative Board President Alan Acheson reported on the cooperative’s long term position of securing the energy needs of members with its investment in the Prairie State Generation Complex, the new state-of-the-art clean coal power plant near Lively Grove, Ill.
“Through our generation and transmission cooperative, Prairie Power, Inc., we have approximately 60 percent of our power needs coming from Prairie State,” stated Acheson. “The rest of our energy portfolio comes from a blend of power; natural gas from the Alsey Generation facility, wind from the Pioneer Trail Wind Farm in Ford and Iroquois counties of Illinois, the open market and other contracts. We also have our investment in two wind turbines for long-term power supply needs.”
Guest speaker Jay Bartlett, President and CEO of Prairie Power, Inc., Adams’ generation/distribution supplier, discussed the energy supply differences between investor-owned utilities and rural electric cooperatives. Bartlett also explained how low market prices are forcing generating plants out of business and many currently operating plants will not be able to afford the investment to meet new environmental regulations. In an effort to level the playing field through diversification, Adams Electric has invested in clean coal technology, wind and other resources to compliment the volatile market and to allow a cost effective, stable, reliable source of energy long into the future.
Jim Thompson, Adams Electric General Manager addressed the members and explained the many ways Adams Electric has concern for community - one of the seven cooperative principles upon which the co-op is based. “Through its involvement in youth programs, economic development, community enrichment and energy savings programs, Adams Electric contributes greatly to the communities it serves,” said Thompson. “We are in a unique position to help facilitate member dialog and identify community goals and well-being as well as being a catalyst for economic development in our area. Adams’ employees are devoted to helping cooperative members who are their friends, neighbors and family. They donate many hours and resources helping fill sandbags, maintain baseball fields, donating time as volunteer firefighters, coaches, and mentors as well as facilitating the Penny Power program that benefits area organizations.”
Thompson also stressed that Adams Electric is “invested in the success of our area. We invest in our schools, we invest in our communities, we invest in our businesses, and we invest in our members.”
Treasurer Bob Willis of Mt. Sterling reported total revenue for the year was more than $20.1 million and energy usage declined for the second straight year to 159 million kilowatts sold for a decrease of 2.5 percent over the previous year. Mild weather and continuing energy efficiencies as well as economic conditions have contributed to the lack of growth in electric usage. Power supply costs 66 cents of every dollar, totaling more than $13.2 million of Adams Electric’s total revenue. New investment in the system for 2012 was $1.5 million to meet the growth in new services and ordinary replacement of equipment.”
Manager of Marketing and Member Services Bill Stalder acknowledged those advisory committee members in attendance. Stalder introduced William “L.B.” Cornwell and Terra Scranton, both of Quincy, who were the Adams Electric representatives on the annual Youth to Washington tour held this past June. The students thanked the members for the opportunity. Stalder also congratulated Stephanie Dearwester of Paloma, one of the eight recipients of a $1,500 Illinois Electric Cooperatives Memorial Scholarship.
Stalder also announced the co-op had another successful year for the Penny Power program. During the most recent cycle, the program awarded 20 grants totaling $8,515. To date, the program has awarded 413 grants totaling exactly $273,088.09.
During the meeting, a special recognition was given to retiring director George Schneider for his many years of service to the co-op and its members. Additionally, Alan Acheson of Rushville and Lyle Waner of Loraine were re-elected to the cooperative’s board of directors and Laura Meyer of Liberty was elected to the District 3 seat vacated by Schneider.
Adams Electric Cooperative is a member of Touchstone EnergyÒ — an alliance of more than 740 local, consumer-owned electric utilities around the country. Adams Electric Cooperative is committed to providing superior service based on four core principles: integrity, accountability, innovation and commitment to community. The co-op serves more than 8,555 meters over 2,227 miles of line in parts of Adams, Brown, Hancock, McDonough, Pike and Schuyler counties. For more information visit www.adamselectric.coop.