Messages from the CEO
A Message from Price Electric CEO William L. Caynor Sr.
Welcome to all member/owners, non-members and potential members! Price Electric Cooperative is a small electrical cooperative serving 9,118 members in nine counties, situated in rural north central Wisconsin. The region is one of Wisconsin’s hidden treasures with more outdoor activities than any one person can do in several days. Many of you have chosen this part of the country as your home, and others, 45% of our membership, have chosen to enjoy the comforts offered on a seasonal basis.
Price Electric is a distribution Cooperative with six substations belonging to Dairyland Power Cooperative (DPC) and a seventh owned by Xcel. The transmission lines serving these substations are owned and operated by Xcel. For those of you not familiar with distribution systems, it is the last phase of bringing electricity to the member. That means that Price doesn’t generate and transfer the energy to this part of the state, but rather purchases the generated energy from Dairyland Power Cooperative and compensates DPC for the use of the transmission lines and substations that connect to our distribution system.
Our mission statement “to provide access to safe, reliable, and affordable electric services,” is the core of the Board and staff thinking, for the development and execution through strategic planning, annual budgeting and a five-year work-plan. Member satisfaction is important to us, so we want to hear from you in good and bad times. Let us know what you’re thinking so that we can enhance our service to you. The membership survey conducted in 2013 illustrated that cost and reliability were major factors of interest and sometimes concern. Price Electric has a lean and superb staff of professionals dedicated to maximizing system enhancements and monitoring to ensure reliability at minimal expense. We are just one year away from completing the Cooperative’s first seven-year cycle of right-of-way clearing. Trees are the number one cause of outages and lengthen restoration times because of access or obstruction. A seven-year cycle of pole and underground equipment inspections, system improvements and new electronic equipment installations to better regulate system performance assures that dependability and reliability will improve from previous metrics.
In the fall of 2015 we began deploying a new metering solution associated with new software that will afford several new advantages, to include: express meter reading data, better outage management to locate problems, and the ability for the member to analyze consumption use and compare to historical usage, to name just a few. This deployment was completed in February 2017.
The electric industry is going through a significant evolution at present with the “Clean Power Plan,” to reduce CO2 emissions and the influx of renewable energies to the generation mix nationally. For us in the Midwest who have experienced low-cost and abundant coal-fired generation, there has be a considerable transformation through either conversion of existing power plants to the constructing of new natural gas, solar or wind projects. DPC has authorized the construction of 15MW of solar projects that will be connected to several their distribution cooperatives and the energy will be purchased by DPC, although the projects will be owned and maintained by another entity. Price Electric was fortunate enough to receive one of the largest projects, being 2.5MW, which will be connected to our Crane Chase substation. The use of all these renewable generation sources could potentially change the electric grid landscape to purchasing alternative generation where available and thus not generating with coal resources as much as in years past, and yet still pushing this energy across some of the same transmission lines used now. This means purchasing wind from Iowa, hydro from Minnesota and some solar projects from countless locations. No one really knows at this juncture the eventual impact on this change but the transfer in the energy mixture is occurring today, which does present interesting and challenging times.
If you like solitude or even camaraderie in the outdoors where four wheelers and boats are heard more often than cars, this is the place for you. The northern scenery in autumn when the leaves turn will take your breath away.
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