Over 600 members and guests attending Barron Electric’s 82nd Annual Meeting had the opportunity to listen to Jeff Springer of Dairyland Power Cooperative and Matthew Blackler of ZEF Energy as they gave an update on electric car technology.
GM will have an electric SUV by 2019 and bring 20 new all-electric vehicles to the market by 2023. Ford is bringing a high-performance electric SUV with a 300-mile range to the market in 2020.
Springer remarked, “Dairyland Power plans to work with cooperatives and others to bring a fast charging station to the Dairyland service area.”
Blackler covered the basics of electric car charging stations. A Level 1 charger will take 21 hours to fully charge, while a Level 2 charger will charge a vehicle in four hours. A DC fast charger will take 30 minutes.
General Manager Dallas Sloan discussed the 2017 storms that impacted Barron Electric’s service territory. He discussed legislation, including Assembly Bill 583, authored by Rep. Romaine Quinn, and Senate Bill 501, co-authored by Sen. Janet Bewley, which will eliminate the double taxation on services provided during storm relief. He also told members that wholesale rates have increased 10 percent, and Barron Electric has not increased rates since 2011. Power Systems Engineering will be analyzing the rates.
Linemen TJ Romsos and Kyle Rose talked with members about their experience helping Clay Electric Cooperative in Florida restore power after Hurricane Irma.
Mandy Straw, director of finance, presented the financial report, telling members, “Patronage capital for 2017 was $3,281,710.”
Board President Selmer Nelson told members, “The cooperative is strong and healthy. We had a record year for kilowatt-hours and revenue.” He also discussed future plans, which include slowing the equity growth, enhancing cybersecurity, exploring an electric vehicle which members can test drive and continuing reliable service.
Incumbents Arlyn Helm, Larry Kuhl and Randy Cook were all reelected to Barron Electric’s Board of Directors representing Districts 1, 5 and 7 respectively. Eugene Schoenfuss of Chetek won the grand prize of a free year of energy, excluding fixed charges. Israel VanTrees and Allyana Chido both won an electric scooter at the Kids’ Program.
Benjamin’s House, Boys and Girls Club of Barron County, Hunt Hill and Rice Lake Area Free Clinic were the featured organizations. These organizations received donations from the cooperative; funds for the Barron Electric donations are derived from the Federated Youth Foundation, an administrative trust overseeing unclaimed capital credits of former members.
At an organizational meeting following the annual meeting, Cook was elected president of the board, Lynn Peterson vice president, Arlyn Helm treasurer and Scott Warwick secretary. Mike Baker was elected to serve on Dairyland Power’s Board of Directors.