MISO Max Generation Warnings

Oconto Electric Cooperative is committed to providing the most reliable and safe electric to our members as possible. In recent news, MISO has made it evident that there is an increased possibility of rolling black outs due to an unbalance in power generation at peak times and usage during those peak times. OEC wants our members to be fully prepared for these possibilities. In this article you will find how to better understand the issue, what the unattractive reality of the situation may be, and what you should do to prepare and possibly prevent the potential of rolling blackouts going into the summer months.

WHAT IS MISO?

Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) is a wholesale electric market that encompasses all or parts of 15 states and Manitoba, Canada. Their purpose is to regulate the market for wholesale electricity. This creates safety standards and regulates the price of wholesale power. Minnesota Power, OEC’s generation and transmission supplier, generates electricity, sells it on the MISO Market, and then buys it back at a regulated price to distribute to its members, and bills members for their demand (the strain or draw on the power grid they service). During peak times, like a 90° day with air conditioning running, demand would be higher than usual.

WHY DO WE NEED TO BE VIGILANT NOW?

MISO’s executive director stated, “MISO’s northern and central region is at heightened risk for controlled ‘load sheds,’ or planned blackouts.” With the record heat expected this summer, the influx of new homes and properties, and the irregularity of renewable energy sources that have replaced more on-demand fossil fuel power generation, the demand is predicted to outweigh current generation of power. If the power grid is nearing capacity, members will be asked to begin to limit their consumption as much as possible. This may mean, turning down air conditioning, moving the use of dishwashers and washers and dryers to lower demand hours, and lessening the nonessential use of electricity as much as possible. Doing so will hopefully take some pressure off the grid to help keep the lights on and help avoid blackouts. If these measures are still not enough to offset a power shortage, it is possible that Minnesota Power will request an emergency load reduction plan to be implemented.

WHAT DO YOU NEED DO KNOW?

If peak alerts do not resolve the demand issue and/or Minnesota Power issues an emergency load reduction plan, Oconto Electric Cooperative will make every effort to keep our members in the loop about what to expect and when to expect it. In the event of rolling blackouts being a necessity, it will be an emergency event to prevent system wide power outages. We will do our best to let you be aware of the situation as it unfolds. Members or businesses who depend on electricity for oxygen or other life-sustaining medical equipment should have a plan in case of a power outage. Unfortunately, we are not able to exempt a member from this plan. Owning a backup generator can provide peace of mind in these situations. *

Before installing a backup generator, please contact our office to ensure your backup generator is installed correctly to protect the safety of our line crew.

Unclaimed Capital Credits

 NOTICE OF UNCLAIMED CAPITAL CREDIT MONEY

The following members or former members of Oconto Electric Cooperative, 7479 REA Road, Oconto Falls, WI 54154, have unclaimed capital credit money at the cooperative. If this money is not claimed by January 31, 2022, the money shall be forfeited to the Oconto Electric Education Fund and will be used for scholarships or other charitable purposes as designated be the cooperative board of directors. This is the list of names with last known addresses. To claim this money, call Oconto Electric Cooperative at 800-472-8410 during regular business hours. The co-op will require some form of identity verification. 

Please click the link to see the list of names with last known addresses.

Looking for Youth Tour Delegates

It’s the trip of a lifetime for sons and daughters of co-op members.

APPLY TODAY!

NRECA Youth Tour of Washington, D.C.

June 17-22, 2022

Oconto Electric is pleased to choose one delegate to represent our local co-op at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) Youth Tour in Washington, D.C. The trip is hosted by NRECA and all expenses are paid by Oconto Electric, according to our cooperative principles to support youth and community.

Any current high school sophomore or junior whose parent or guardian is a residential member of Oconto Electric Cooperative is eligible. (Residential is defined as having the primary residence within OEC’s service territory.)

Applications must be submitted on or before December 17, 2021. Applications received after December 17, 2021, will not be considered.

Government-in-Action Youth Tour

Visiting a place like Washington, D.C., might sound like a far-away dream for high school students who grow up in rural Wisconsin. But every year, several cooperative students are given the opportunity to travel to the capital for an intensive weeklong tour—and it doesn’t cost them a dime.

In June, the Wisconsin Government-in-Action Youth Tour, sponsored by the state’s rural electric cooperatives in conjunction with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, sends select students on an all-expense-paid trip to the nation’s capital. In Washington, tour participants get to see with their own eyes, sights many have only experienced in history books or on television. 

In addition to visiting monuments, museums, and historical sites that would be part of any standard tour, the students also fulfill the goal of then U.S. Sen. Lyndon Johnson, who inspired the Youth Tour in 1957, for young people to “actually see what the flag stands for and represents.”

Tour participants get to meet their Members of Congress, hear inspirational speakers, and interact with other Youth Tour participants from across the country. Additionally, Wisconsin students have the chance to witness in the wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, see the Sunset Parade at the Iwo Jima War Memorial, and tour the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives chambers.

During the intense week on the go—traveling, eating and touring together—many of the Youth Tour participants form fast friendships that continue after they return home. Inspired by their trip, many Youth Tour alumni have gone on to become co-op leaders or perform other public service. Ask almost any of the alumni about their experience, and they will describe it as “the trip of a lifetime.”

Click here for application.