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Friday, June 7, 2013

Dairyland Power Cooperative Works to Remind the Next Generation of the Value of Cooperative Utilities

 At the Dairyland Power Cooperative's 72nd annual meeting in La Crosse, President Bill Berg sought to remind younger cooperative members of the importance of cooperative utilities and the incorporation of new technology in the near future. Outlining the historical path of technological and social developments, Berg said of renewable energy that "You can view it as a threat or as something you need to be a part of". The La Crosse Tribune article below describes Dairyland's plans to incorporate more alternative energy practices into it operation.

“In an era of new technology we run the risk of becoming just another utility. We’re not just a utility. We’re an organization that empowers members … to improve the quality of their lives.” 

With the passage of the generation that experienced the electrification of rural America, La Crosse-based Dairyland Power Cooperative is looking for ways to remind younger members of the value of cooperative utilities and to prepare for the next game-changing technology.

That was the message delivered Wednesday to 246 delegates and about 350 others in attendance at the cooperative’s 72nd annual meeting in La Crosse.

In a speech modeled after the 1970s television show “Connections,” President Bill Berg traced a path of technological and social developments from a water-powered mill in 3rd century France to the printing press to automated punch cards and finally the modern computer chip.
“What once took hundreds of years can now happen in decades” — or faster, Berg said. “Perhaps the biggest threat could come from new technology.”

While photovoltaic solar generation can’t yet compete with fossil fuel sources on price and can’t be delivered on demand, Berg said the advances have been dramatic.

“You can view it as a threat or as something you need to be a part of.”

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