Dairyland Power Cooperative’s 2022 annual meeting was held on June 8 at the La Crosse Center. Ed Gullickson, Chair of the Board and Director representing Polk-Burnett Electric Cooperative, presided over the meeting.
The theme of the meeting was Laser Focused, symbolizing how every decision Dairyland makes has a laser focus on its mission to power communities and improve the quality of life for cooperative members.
“With an overarching goal of sustainability, Dairyland’s leadership and Board of Directors are focused on delivering safe, reliable and cost-competitive electricity as we transition to a low-carbon future,” said President and CEO Brent Ridge. “We are here to grow, innovate and deliver value as a member-driven energy cooperative. That is why I come to work, every day.”
During his remarks, Ridge addressed energy industry challenges—including reliability, supply chain disruptions and cost pressures—along with parallel solutions. “Challenge leads to innovation, which is critically important for our industry as we embrace growth and smart advances in next generation technologies, power supply and power delivery,” said Ridge.
Meeting carbon reduction goals while securing the reliable, cost-effective delivery of electricity is a central conversation at Dairyland. As part of that discussion, the importance of nuclear energy’s future role in supporting renewable energy investments was highlighted. “The bottom line is, if you are against carbon, you need to be for nuclear,” said Ridge. “If you want a low-carbon, reliable, safe and economical grid 24/7, nuclear is part of that future.”
Dairyland Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President (CFO/EVP) Phil Moilien provided a 2021 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 financial strength balanced with providing our members safe, reliable and cost competitive electricity.
“Despite COVID, supply chain disruptions and other challenges, cost management actions and sound fiscal performance resulted in strong 2021 margins. Total margins were $19.5 million, exceeding budgeted margins of $17.6 million and previous year’s margins of $15.7 million.
“Key influences were member cooperative load slightly above budget, a favorable regional energy market, excellent availability of our power plants during the most critical times of the year and below budget operational costs. These key influences enabled Dairyland to provide additional value to member cooperatives and still achieve total margins above budget and the previous year.
“Competitive rates are critical to our sustainability and the economic well-being of the region. I’m pleased to report that our member cooperative average wholesale rate decreased 2.6% in 2021.
“In 2021, Dairyland provided $17 million of credits to members. Over its 80-year history, Dairyland has returned $144.7 million to its Class A member cooperatives.”
The annual meeting, which was live-streamed for employees and members who were unable to attend, included a Q&A session with Executive Team members and recognition of award recipients.