WECA Youth, Butterflies, Directors chosen, Solar and Renewable Growth




(l-r) Jonathan Readinger, Jump River Electric; Katelin Berklund, Vernon Electric; Emma Herek, Oakdale Electric; Jenna Jereb, Oakdale Electric; Ethan Michalowski, Central Wisconsin Electric; and Naly Vang, Oakdale Electric.

The 2016–17 Wisconsin Electric Co- operative Association Youth Board was elected during the organization’s recent Youth Leadership Congress—the 53rd— at UW–River Falls. Sponsored by their local electric co-ops, more than 125 high school students from across Wisconsin learned about the cooperative business model and participated in educational sessions focused on maximizing leadership potential.  Their tasks include helping to plan and conduct the 2017 Youth Leadership Congress.


attendees attendees learn about trusting their fellow students in a team-building exercise







The Wisconsin Electric Cooperative Association and the Sand County Foundation signed a memorandum of under- standing (MOU) last month, outlining their plans to collaborate in improving habitat for insect pollinators, especially monarch butterflies.

Habitat loss has diminished monarch numbers compared with their vast abun- dance across North America in earlier decades. The MOU outlines the habitat restoration responsibilities of the Sand County Foundation—a private, non-profit organization advocating scientifically sound land management—and WECA.

The foundation is to offer grants and guidance to Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapters partnering with WECA member co-ops, assist FFA chapters and WECA members with appropriate meth- odologies for establishing and managing habitat, pursue private and public funds to leverage WECA-member co-ops’ in- kind contributions, and deliver public presentations and media content spread- ing information about the project.

WECA has agreed to actively recruit member co-ops to identify potential habitat restoration sites, support member co-ops in providing safe and reasonable accommodations for FFA students and teachers working in projects on member properties, and contribute in-kind re- sources such as plant material and vegetation management in support of habitat restoration.


Three seats on the 10-member Wisconsin

Electric Cooperative Association board of directors were up for election this summer, and balloting at recent district meetings brought two new faces to the board.

Scenic Rivers Energy Cooperative CEO Steve Lucas was elected to succeed Clark Electric’s Tim Stewart, who reached his term limit. St. Croix Electric Director Derrick Oberle succeeds Jump River Director Steve Truver, who did not seek re-election. Riv- erland Energy Director David Paudler, the incumbent board chair, was re-elected.

Statewide directors chosen in the district meetings commence their new terms at the organization’s November annual meeting.


Wisconsin electric cooperatives’ leadership in community solar development marked an- other milestone in August, with the ceremonial groundbreaking in the St. Croix County Town of Warren for a planned 2.34 mega- watt array. Upon completion of “Sunflower II” this fall, the site will also host 16 acres of pollinator-friendly plants and grasses.

Sunflower II is one of 12 solar installations set for construction this year in the Dairyland Power Cooperative service area and Dairyland will purchase 93 percent of the facility’s output, with St. Croix Electric Cooperative securing a 25-year, fixed price, power purchase agreement with co-develop- er SoCore for the remaining seven percent.


The share of North American electricity generation obtained from nuclear and renew- able sources combined is projected to grow nearly one-fifth over the decade spanning 2015–2025, but the numbers show all the growth occurring among renewables, with nuclear not quite holding its own, a report from the U.S. Energy Information Adminis- tration (EIA) indicates.

EIA figures show nuclear providing 18 percent of North America’s electricity mix in 2015 and slipping to 16 percent over the de- cade. Renewables are projected to grow from 20 percent to 29 percent during the same pe- riod. Fossil fuels are projected to contribute a shrinking but still majority share, declining from 62 percent of total generation in 2015 to 55 percent in 2025.