Find Economic Development news and articles from throughout the Dairyland Power Cooperative territory in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin.  December, 2016.
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Data Center Sites Within the Dairyland Power Region

Data Centers are generally described as specialized facilities that house the equipment and operations of communications equipment related to the internet and networking. It is a target market for economic developers throughout the nation and particularly in the upper Midwest where our geography offers several advantages. Data centers generally look for property with high quality electric and telecom infrastructure, a cooler climate to save on climate control expenses, educated workforce, and other opportunities.
Dairyland Power has worked with our member cooperatives to identify several sites that are appropriate for this type of development and has plans to begin actively marketing these sites during 2017. The sites include:  
Do you know of a site not listed here that might meet the criteria or do you know of a firm seeking a site to build a new data center? Contact Craig Harmes at with the information.

Dairyland Power Wins Award for Solar Energy Projects

Dairyland Power Cooperative’s leadership in solar energy was recognized with a Project of Distinction Award from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) at the recent Solar Power PV Conference in Chicago.  Dairyland received the award specifically for 15 solar projects currently under construction in its cooperative service area.  The initial projects are currently coming online with the rest expected to be in service in early 2017.
Key criteria for the SEIA award included: Innovation in the use of technology, design, financing and collaboration; benefits provided to multiple stakeholders across communities; and the replicability and development of best practices for regional benefit.
Last year, Dairyland issued a request for proposals (RFP) for solar generation resources.  Earlier this year, Dairyland announced that agreements were in place for 12 new facilities in Wisconsin.  Dairyland recently finalized agreements for three additional utility-scale solar generation projects, bringing Dairyland’s total number of solar installations under contract to 15 and increasing the total solar generation on the Dairyland system to over 20 megawatts (MW).  Altogether, the Dairyland projects will nearly double the amount of solar power currently in Wisconsin.

Dairyland has power purchase agreements with SoCore Energy (Chicago, Ill.) for 14 of the solar projects and one agreement with CMS Enterprises (Jackson, Mich.).
For more information on the solar projects, see

Osage, IA Certified Industrial Site is Ready for Development

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) has announced that an Osage, IA property has been selected for certification for industrial development.  The process affirms the property as shovel-ready for development.  The South Mitchell County Industrial Site consists of 75 acres and is suitable for bioscience, ag-industry and advanced manufacturing operations according to Brenda Dryer with the Mitchell County Economic Development Commission. 
In making the announcement Gov. Terry Branstad indicated that economic development is his administration’s top priority and that selection as a certified site means the property has gone through a rigorous process to be considered “development ready”.
Companies looking to build new facilities are searching for sites that are not only suitable for development but are also relatively “risk-free.  Certified Sites help fill the demand for project-ready industrial sites.  Iowa’s certified site program, designed and implemented by the nationally recognized site selection firm McCallum Sweeney Consulting (MSC), parallels a typical site location process. Once credentialed, an Iowa Certified Site has relevant site-related data and documentation accumulated and is designated as “development-ready”.
Anyone interested in more information about the South Mitchell County Industrial Site may contact Brenda Dryer with the Mitchell County Economic Development Corporation at (641) 732-4790 or

0% Interest Economic Development Loan Funds Available for Your Project

One of the best kept secrets in regional economic development is the Rural Economic Development Loan Program (REDL) available through electric cooperatives.  The program provides business and community development loans of up to $1 million at 0% interest.  Funds can be used for business expansion and start-up.  Eligible purposes include real estate, buildings (new and existing), machinery and equipment and/or working capital.  Community facilities and infrastructure are also eligible purposes.  Loan amount is determined by overall project scale, local cooperative policies, job creation/retention and other typical loan approval criteria.
Are you wondering whether this financing might be available for your project?  Contact your local electric cooperative or Craig Harmes, Dairyland Power Cooperative, at (608) 787-1310 or


75 Years of "Living the Cooperative Advantage"

For decades, the absence of electricity was the single most important distinction between urban and rural life.  In 1935, President Franklin Roosevelt established the Rural Electrification Administration (REA) to help bring electricity to rural America. Click here to see our 75th Anniversary ad featuring member cooperatives.

The Creation of Dairyland Power Cooperative
Working together, 10 northern Wisconsin cooperatives created Wisconsin Power Cooperative to meet their electric power needs. In 1938, the Chippewa Diesel Station became the first cooperative generating plant in the nation to produce power for rural America.

Later that year, five southern Wisconsin electric cooperatives formed Tri-State Power Cooperative. They were soon joined by two more Wisconsin cooperatives, three cooperatives from Iowa and two from Minnesota. Together, they completed a coal-fired steam plant at Genoa, Wis., in 1941.

Just days after the bombing at Pearl Harbor in December 1941, Tri-State and Wisconsin Power Cooperative combined their strengths. The 17 directors from these two cooperatives signed the Articles of Incorporation, which were filed on Dec. 11, 1941, by Attorney Floyd Wheeler. 

A few days later, on Dec. 16, 1941, a final consolidation meeting was held in Genoa and the two cooperatives merged to create a new cooperative serving thousands of people throughout the region—Dairyland Power Cooperative.

At the time, Dairyland had a generating capacity of just over 10 MW. That figure has now multiplied over 100 times. The transmission system has grown from 750 miles of 34.5 kV lines to over 3,100 miles of mostly 69 and 161 kV lines.

In 1941, the newly created Dairyland system served 24,500 member-consumers (mostly farmers) who used an average of 75 kilowatt-hours a month. Today the Dairyland system serves more than 257,000 customers and average usage has grown over ten-fold.

Continuing the legacy & living the cooperative advantage
These pioneers set the cornerstone for Dairyland’s strong foundation to improve the quality of life in rural communities. Dairyland continues their legacy by providing members with value in the form of safe, reliable, sustainable and competitively-priced electricity.
Dairyland Power is an Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer.
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