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 79-year-old electrical cooperative serving 9,226 members within nine counties nestled 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 a given day. 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 served by six substations belonging to Dairyland Power Cooperative and a seventh owned by Xcel Energy. 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 chapter of delivering electricity to the member/owner. That means that Price Electric doesn’t generate and transfer the high-voltage energy to this part of the state, but rather we purchase from Dairyland Power Cooperative the energy consumed, capacity utilized, the transmission lines operated, and the substations that connect to our distribution system. As many of you are members/owners of Price Electric Cooperative, the Cooperative is a member/owner of Dairyland Power Cooperative.
Our mission statement “to provide access to safe, reliable, and affordable electric services,” is the core of the Board of Directors and staff ideology and decision-making, for the development and execution of strategic planning, annual budgeting, and our five-year workplan. 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 last year illustrated that cost and reliability were major factors of interest and sometimes concern. Price Electric has a lean and first-rate staff of professionals dedicated to maximizing the benefits to you and applying preventive measures to the system to ensure reliability at minimal expense. Last year we completed our first in the history of the Cooperative, seven-year cycle of right-of-way clearing. Trees are the number one cause of outages in the Northwoods and also lengthen restoration times because of access or obstruction from identification. A seven-year cycle of pole and underground equipment inspections, system improvements, and new electronic equipment installations to better regulate and optimize system performance has increased our dependability and reliability and minimized the numbers of members affected.
Our Advanced Metering Infrastructure deployment was completed in early 2017. Over 10,000 meters were replaced by Cooperative employees in just fifteen months; that included new hardware and software installations that allowed: express meter reading data, better outage management to locate system issues, and the ability for you, the member, to analyze consumption and compare historical usage, to name just a few new additions.
The electric industry continues to go through an evolution with the goal of reducing the impact on the environment through reducing carbon emissions in both electrical and transportation sectors with the influx of electrical vehicles to the roadway and renewable energy to the electric generation portfolio. The “Clean Power Plan,” objective to reduce CO2 emissions has remained somewhat stagnant with the present political administration, but no matter what your stance is regarding the subject, change is already underway. For us in the Midwest who have experienced low-cost and abundant coal-fired generation, there continues to be a transformation with the construction of renewable resources, and a combined-cycle natural gas plant in Superior, WI to support the baseload replacement of coal-fired units. The Nemadji Trail Project in Superior is a joint 525-550MW venture with Minnesota Power and Dairyland Power, and is expected to come online in 2025. In the last few years, Dairyland Power has added 18 new solar projects for an additional 25MW of capacity. Price Electric was fortunate enough to receive one of the largest projects, being 2.5MW, connected to our Crane Chase substation. If you’re interested in seeing this project, it’s located north of Phillips, on Short Cut road, and consists of a twenty-acre field of arrays. Pretty impressive. Dairyland Power also added the 98MW Quilt Block Wind farm in Seymour, WI to its portfolio. Currently, you have wind being imported from Iowa, hydro from Minnesota, and several solar projects from countless sites. No one really knows at this juncture the ultimate impact of these changes, but the transfer in the energy mix continues today.
If you like solitude or camaraderie of 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 are naturally evolving will take your breath away. If you’re not here already, we hope to see you soon.
More Messages From the CEO:
Electric Rates: What Does it all Cost? (October 2018)
Fresh & Innovative Member Service Center (September 2018)
Our Chosen Path is a New Trail of Possibilities (June 2018)
Lineman Appreciation (April 2018)
A Cooperative Treasure (March 2018)
Veselé Vánoce (December 2017)
Assisting our Brother & Sister Cooperatives (November 2017)
A Historic Month for PEC (August 2017)
The Road Not Taken (September 2017)
Energizing Your Future (June 2017)
Let's Talk Rates (April 2017)
Baby Boomers (March 2015)
Careers in the Electrical Industry (October 2015)
Dissecting Your Electric Bill (September 2016)
Dollars and Cents--The True Cost of Electricity (October 2016)
The Viability of Solar (November 2015)
Vegetation and Right-Of-Way Management (August 2015)