Renewable energies and electric vehicles discussed during the meeting | Free News

Over 300 members and guests attended Barron Electric’s 86th Annual Meeting on Saturday, March 26.

The theme was “Charging Our Future”. Breakfast was served by the Barron VFW.

Brent Ridge, President and CEO of Dairyland Power Cooperative, spoke about renewables and reliability, saying reducing carbon is a big challenge. Dairyland Power is Barron Electric’s wholesale electricity supplier.

Ridge commented, “One of our goals is to methodically reduce our carbon output without sacrificing safety and reliability.”

He told members that Dairyland Power had very good sales in the market and factories were operating efficiently in 2021; therefore, the margins were returned to the cooperatives. Ridge also explained how energy resources will evolve in the future to meet our energy needs.

He emphasized NuScale, their mission is to provide scalable advanced nuclear technology by creating a smarter, cleaner, safer and more competitive source of energy. Earlier this year, NuScale and Dairyland Power announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding to assess the potential deployment of NuScale’s advanced nuclear technology.

Barron Electric General Manager Aaron Torud spoke about the Level 2 and Level 3 electric vehicle chargers that were installed at Trego last summer, closing a 155-mile gap between fast chargers on Highway 53. The cooperative is purchasing an F-150 Lightning to add to their fleet and will evaluate its efficiency against gas-powered vehicles.

He discussed a variety of energy efficiency tools and encouraged members to visit to try the energy adventure at home with tips for saving energy and money, watch videos on how to save energy and consult the brochure Use Energy Wisely.

Randy Cook, Chairman of the Board of Barron Electric, said, “Barron Electric has the lowest rates in the Dairyland Cooperative system.

He shared with members that right-of-way clearance and maintenance projects help improve reliability. He also stressed the importance of safety and ensuring that all employees return home safely every day.

Incumbents Michael Baker, Patricia Mandel and Richard Bol were re-elected to the Barron Electric Cooperative Board of Directors to represent Districts 3, 6 and 9, respectively.

Twelve members won the $100 credits, including: Vivian Bergman, Herb Cook, Kelly Cupp, Neil Elskamp, ​​Lois Haynie, Kenneth Noesen, Edward Olson, Anthony Richter, Lois Ristow, Larry Snowbank, David Wigchers and Lawrence Wilhelmy. Raelynn Cox and Emily O’Connell were the winners of Fire Tablets, raffled off as part of the Kids’ Program.

The Cumberland Pantry collected over 190 pounds of items.

Members had the opportunity to ask questions. A member asked, “How are we going to meet the demand with electric vehicles? Barron Electric would upgrade electrical service, transformers and substations. Ridge said: “We would change the way we operate on the driveline, but I think that will take many years.”

Another member asked if Dairyland Power and Barron Electric would install more charging stations. ChargeTM is a group of cooperatives working together to help promote electric vehicles and help build the infrastructure for electric charging stations. They also told members that it was cheaper to charge vehicles overnight at home.

A number of companies and organizations donated items for the event. Maple Creek Sugarbush, Lost in the Woods Acres, Helms, A&M Pure and Hustads donated maple syrup. Barron Kwik Trip donated bottled water and Barron County Dairy Promoters and Cumberland Airport provided hot plates.

Christy J. Olson