News Briefs


Dairyland CEO Appointed to National Nuclear Task Force

Dairyland President and CEO Brent Ridge has been appointed to the Nuclear Energy Institute’s (NEI) Used Fuel Executive Task Force. Based in Washington, D.C., the NEI is the policy organization of the nuclear technologies industry and provides strategic guidance and support on used fuel-related legislative, policy, and legal issues.

“It is an exciting time for nuclear power and I am pleased to be part of the conversation on America’s clean energy transition,” said Ridge. “NEI’s vision is a world powered by clean and reliable energy, which nuclear provides through zero carbon emissions, fuel security and support of renewable resources.”

Dairyland and NuScale Power signed an agreement in 2022 for Dairyland to evaluate the potential deployment of NuScale’s Small Modular Reactor (SMR) technology as a safe, reliable, and carbon-free energy solution.

RESCO: Transformer Shortage is Far From Over

RESCO President and CEO Matt Brandrup was the guest on the “Power Hungry Podcast” recently and delivered some dire news about the transformer shortage, saying the renewable energy transition and electric vehicle expansion means transformer manufacturers continue to compete for materials, and the EV rollout is amplifying the need to upgrade residential transformers to meet the needs of home charging.

“We’re just in the infancy stages, in terms of utilities having to upgrade their transformers, upgrade the secondary conductor serving that transformer,” Brandrup said, “and so we’re going to see that demand pressure to increase transformer size for many, many years.”

Brandrup said the new transformer standard the Department of Energy (DOE) is working on rolling out, which requires new transformers to be slightly more efficient and use a certain type of steel, will exacerbate the issue. Under the new requirement, transformers would be larger and more expensive.

Minnesota, Illinois Consider Ending Nuclear Bans

Evidence of a national resurgence in new nuclear generation continues as Illinois and Minnesota take steps to end moratoriums.

The Illinois State Senate has passed legislation that would delete language on its books reading “no construction shall commence on any new nuclear power plant to be located within the state,” opening the door to both traditional, large nuclear reactors and new, small modular reactors. The bill now goes to the House for consideration.

In Minnesota, lawmakers are considering a bill that would launch a study on the potential costs, benefits, and impacts of generating power with advanced nuclear technology, a potential first step toward overturning the ban on new nuclear in that state.

Wisconsin ended its 33-year ban on new nuclear generation in March 2016.

Evers’ Budget Plan Includes Clean Energy Initiatives

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers has a long list of clean energy initiatives and other spending in his 2023–25 budget proposal. While the state has a projected surplus of $7.1 billion by June 30, the spending in Evers’ proposal would exceed revenues by an estimated $5.2 billion in 2024 and $1.3 billion in 2025, the largest imbalance of any budget on record, according to the Wisconsin Policy Forum Budget Brief.

The clean energy proposals are related to building out electric vehicle charging infrastructure, requiring utilities to invest more in Focus on Energy, expanding clean job opportunities, and expediting the clean energy transition in the state.

Singerhouse Joins UWCC Advisory Committee

Jesse Singerhouse, general manager and CEO of Dunn Energy Cooperative, has joined the University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives Advisory Committee.

Former Central Wisconsin Electric Cooperative CEO Mike Wade served on the UWCC Advisory Committee until he left Wisconsin to take the position of CEO at Wild Rice Electric Cooperative in Minnesota.

UWCC takes an in-depth look at how cooperatives operate, and how they can be improved, particularly in the area of governance including board elections, term limits, and training.

Governor Evers Announces Launch of Clean Economy Coalition

Governor Tony Evers helped celebrate the launch of the Clean Economy Coalition of Wisconsin (CECW). Founding members include Action for the Climate Emergency, Audubon Great Lakes, Clean Wisconsin, Elevate, The Nature Conservancy, RENEW Wisconsin, Sierra Club Wisconsin Chapter, Slipstream, Wisconsin Conservation Voters, Walnut Way Conservation Corp., Wisconsin Health Professionals for Climate Action, and Wisconsin Land and Water Conservation Association.

The group says its purpose is to “shape and advocate for policies that support a 100 percent carbon-free state by 2050.” The group also advocates and acts for policies to achieve 100 percent zero carbon new residential and commercial buildings by 2030 and will push to phase out the use of natural gas in existing homes and businesses.

Dairyland Power Receives National Tech Award

Dairyland Power Cooperative has been named a CIO 100 Award Winner by Foundry’s CIO, one of the most prestigious awards in the technology industry.

The CIO 100 Awards honor organizations or companies for using IT in innovative ways to deliver business value. The group specifically cited the Dairyland Systems Modernization (DSM) program for delivering business value through innovation. The program is focused on improving processes and systems.