LA CROSSE, Wis., June 5, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Approximately 600 electric cooperative leaders and guests attended Dairyland's 78th annual meeting at the La Crosse Center earlier today. Roger Tjarks, Chair of the Board and Director representing Heartland Power Cooperative, presided over the meeting.
The theme of the meeting was Energy for the Long Run, emphasizing Dairyland's commitment to safe, sustainable and strategic business decisions that will benefit and serve its member cooperatives and local communities for years to come.
Barbara Nick, Dairyland President and CEO, spoke about how sustainability guides Dairyland's power supply planning. "To be sustainable, we embrace change. Change is simply the result of what is happening in the world around us," said Nick. "Dairyland's glide path to the future is based on informed, holistic, sustainable policy to ensure a prudent and reliable asset mix."
Nick emphasized that Dairyland's focus is on reducing economy-wide carbon emissions. "Our initiatives to foster beneficial electrification, combined with our progressive investments in solar and wind, bear witness to this evolution."
At the same time, a diversified generation mix is essential for Dairyland's obligation of power reliability. "Reliability is our promise to provide consumers with light, heat and power—especially in situations where a lapse in reliability can be life threatening," said Nick.
Dairyland Vice President and Chief Financial and Administrative Officer (CFO/CAO) Phil Moilien provided a 2018 Financial Report: "I'm pleased to report that Dairyland Power Cooperative is financially strong and stable. We remain in alignment with our Strategic Priority of maintaining and enhancing financial strength which, as always, must be balanced with maintaining competitive rates and service to our members.
"2018 total margins were $16.5 million dollars; $1.4 million dollars above budget. Total operating revenues increased 7 percent from the prior year due to increased sales to our distribution cooperative members, our municipal members and the Midcontinent Independent System Operator.
"In 2018, Dairyland's Board approved Capital Credit Cash Retirements of $4.4 million dollars to its distribution cooperative members, continuing its strong – and proud - history of Capital Credit Retirements.
"Over its 78-year history, Dairyland has returned $124 million dollars to its distribution cooperative members.
"Dairyland has credit ratings of 'A3' with a stable outlook from Moody's and 'A+' also with a stable outlook from Standard & Poor's. Dairyland focuses on maintaining strong credit ratings and financial strength to maintain access to economical financing. Financial strength also helps ensure that we can weather storms and control our destiny on behalf of our members."
Longtime Dairyland employees received service awards at the annual meeting. Employees staffed informational displays on the Nemadji Trail Energy Center, solar and wind energy, pollinator habitat and Dairyland's Genoa Station #3 power plant.
About Dairyland Power Cooperative: Dairyland, a Touchstone Energy Cooperative, was formed in December 1941. Headquartered in La Crosse, Wis., Dairyland provides the wholesale electrical requirements for 24 distribution cooperatives and 17 municipal utilities. These cooperatives and municipals, in turn, supply the energy needs of more than a half-million people in the four-state service area. Today, the cooperative's generating resources include coal, natural gas, hydro, wind, solar and biogas. Dairyland delivers electricity via nearly 3,200 miles of transmission lines and 300 substations located throughout the system's 44,500 square mile service area. Visit www.DairylandPower.com.
SOURCE Dairyland Power Cooperative