Hoosier Energy crew members work from bucket tracks nearly 100 feet in the air.

Woodpecker to blame for Redbird Line Rebuild

Some projects are for the birds, and some are because of the birds.   It was a case of the latter for Hoosier Energy’s recent Redbird Line Rebuild.   With a right of way running through the Redbird State Recreation Area in Greene County, last spring a hole was spotted in one of the poles…

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Franklin, Pheifer members of 40-40 club at SCI

Change is inevitable over the course of four decades.   But at South Central Indiana REMC, there have been two constants – Rex Franklin and Jerry Pheifer.   There hasn’t been a board of directors without the pair since the early 1980s.   Pheifer came on board in 1982 with Franklin following suit a year…

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Community Impact Fund making a difference

A new year means a new chance to help communities and nonprofit organizations within Hoosier Energy territory.   The means to do that comes from Hoosier Energy’s aptly titled Community Impact Fund. Or at least that’s the name it’s gone by for the past two years, previously known as the Corporate Contributions Account.   “Each…

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Lynch elected to ULME steering committee

Hoosier Energy’s Michelle Lynch attended her first in-person PLMA (Peak Load Management Alliance) Conference just two years ago in Baltimore. It was the first post-COVID event for the member-led nonprofit organization.   A subset of PLMA is another member of the alphabet soup family, ULME (Utility Load Management Exchange). While PLMA is made up of…

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Tommy Roberts Q&A: Riding technology’s roller coaster

The cover photo of his Facebook page is the Coney Island Cyclone. And that alone might suggest that Tommy Roberts is capable of riding the ups and downs of the utility industry.   Hoosier Energy’s Engineering Services Manager is not only a roller coaster aficionado, but he’s helping guide the integration of technology into Hoosier’s…

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Hoosier Energy helps out volunteer fire department

The Union Volunteer Fire Department hasn’t been on a recorded run since 2018, and it’s been much longer since the department was fully functional and active.   That will all change on January 1, 2024, thanks in part to a donation from Hoosier Energy.   To receive calls and send notifications out to its firemen,…

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Cooperatives come together for Community Day 2023

Each year on the second Friday of October, Indiana’s electric cooperatives collectively participate in Community Day.   This year, October 13 was no exception as cooperatives across the state met various needs within their service area. Some cooperatives held their projects on a different date, but all in all 15 of Hoosier Energy’s member cooperatives…

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Graduating members of the 2023 HEATS Lineman class pose at the ceremony in French Lick.

HEATS program celebrates 2023 graduating class

The Hoosier Energy Apprenticeship Training and Safety (HEATS) Program recently celebrated the 2023 graduating class with a ceremony in French Lick.   After being welcomed by Hoosier Energy Manager of Safety and Training Brandon Gentry, IBEW Local 1393 Business Manager and Financial Secretary Bob Cox and Hoosier Energy Chief Technology Officer Bob Richhart, it was…

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Megan Miller Q&A: New role, new experience

Sooner or later, life brings change for everyone. For Megan Miller, embracing change has been a lifestyle for the better part of two decades with no signs of letting up.   From Minnesota to Florida to Indiana geographically, from healthcare to fitness expert to business management and beyond in studies, and a career that has…

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Wayne-White scholarship honors former lineman Kinney

Gerry Kinney has never played much golf, but at least once a year for the past four years, he has found himself at Fairfield Public Golf Course for the Wayne-White Counties Electric Cooperative Electrical Distribution Systems Scholarship Fundraiser.   That’s what happens when the scholarship, which goes to a Frontier Community College student, bears your…

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The South Central Indiana line crew gives a live-line demonstration during the Children's Farm Festival at Peden Farm.

South Central Indiana REMC helps liven up Peden Farm event

Some covered their ears, others jumped a little.   Whatever the reaction to the pop of electricity, the young students attending the Children’s Farm Festival at Peden Farm paid rapt attention to the South Central Indiana REMC line crew doing a live line demonstration.   The annual festival took place on September 28-29 in northern…

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Aerial saw trimming takes flight for Hoosier Energy

Nine 25-inch carbide tip circular saw blades attached to multiple 20-foot aluminum poles and powered by a 50-horsepower snowmobile motor that can be turned on and off remotely – attached to the bottom of a helicopter?   It sounds like the kind of crazy, homemade contraption that would make even Tim the Toolman jealous.  …

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Gutzwiller sends Postcards from Japan on latest trip

Ask Harold Gutzwiller anything about his trips to Japan.   Just don’t ask him how many times he’s been.   “My first trip to Japan was in 1998 or 1999, so my guess is greater than 10,” the Hoosier Energy Manager of Economic Development said. “But it’s one of those things I should’ve kept track…

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Second annual Lineman Rodeo grows by leaps and bounds

The second annual Indiana Electric Cooperative Lineman Rodeo was a rootin’-tootin’ good time on August 24-25, 2023, at the Hendricks County Fairgrounds.   That was thanks in no small part to Hoosier Energy member cooperatives, who played a big role in the event practically doubling in size from its debut in 2022.   A total…

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Continuous Improvement program continues moving forward

As one of Hoosier Energy’s strategic priorities, continuous improvement has always been a key part of the company mindset.   A commissioned team spent the past year developing a program centered around this idea, learning from the past and pointing toward the future. As a result, Hoosier Energy’s new Rural Electric Continuous Improvement Program (RECIP)…

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Ham radio more than a hobby for Hoosier Energy employees

Every year, tens of thousands of people descend upon Dayton, Ohio, for the Hamvention.   This is an event that has nothing to do with food.   The Dayton Hamvention is the world’s largest amateur radio gathering, an event that started in 1952 and has grown yearly since other than a two-year hiatus for the…

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Open house opens the door to change for SCI members

Change is never easy.   It only gets more difficult when change is unwanted.   But in the case of Hoosier Energy’s Centerton to Wilbur Project, constructing 5.8 miles of new 69kV overhead transmission line is a necessity for South Central Indiana REMC members.   An open house at Centerton Elementary School on June 23-24…

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Whitewater Valley REMC breaks ground on future home

Whitewater Valley REMC took its next step into the future on June 27 when it held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new facility in Liberty.   Construction on the 33,860 square-foot building is projected to take 12 months with relocation to the new facility expected to take place in the summer of 2024.   This…

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Centerton open house opens the lines of communication

In the utility industry, it’s reasonable to expect the unexpected.   When Hoosier Energy threw open the doors at Centerton Elementary School on June 23rd and 24th for the Centerton to Wilbur Project Open House, no one was sure what to expect.   “If we’ve done an open house in the past, it wasn’t done…

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Cooperatives celebrate students with scholarships

School’s out for summer, but students from 14 Hoosier Energy member cooperatives are collecting college scholarships for the 2023-24 year.   As a matter of fact, the total of 90 students receiving scholarships surpasses last year’s already high standard of 86. Three of those are recipients of statewide awards as Alivia Hopper of Orange County…

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Campers put pedal to the metal at Camp Kilowatt

Camp Kilowatt put the pedal to the medal in 2023, literally.   The annual four-day program for students entering seventh grade, funded by electric cooperatives across the state of Indiana, including Hoosier Energy, took place June 7-10 at Camp Tecumseh in Brookston, Indiana.   Hoosier Energy was also the primary sponsor for circuit boards and…

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Bikes just one thing on the list for Desert Rose Foundation

Julie Myers keeps a running list.   So, when Hoosier Energy reached out this spring to offer four bikes to Desert Rose Foundation in Martinsville, Myers was ready to give each of them a new home.   New homes are Myers’ specialty as a Case Manager/Victim Advocate for Desert Rose, which provides assistance for victims…

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A little cooperation goes a long way toward repairing storm damage

Cooperation among cooperatives.   This is a principle that’s been repeated many times, but the practical application is unmistakably crucial.   That was once again the case with this spring’s tornado damage throughout the Hoosier Energy footprint.   In assessing the damage, several items were in short supply. Hoosier Energy Manager of Purchases and Contracts…

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Linemen make electrifying trip to Guatemala with Project Indiana

For the first time since 2019, Project Indiana from Indiana Electric Cooperatives (IEC) brought electrification to the people of Guatemala.   Eight linemen from Hoosier Energy member cooperatives were among the crew that traveled to Pena Roja, a village of 26 families in the mountains of western Guatemala along the Mexican border from April 27-May…

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Community Impact Week a smash hit for Hoosier Energy

Hoosier Energy saw 25% of its workforce participate in the first-ever Community Impact Week from April 17-21.   More than 70 employees contributed to a variety of projects running Monday through Friday.   The week started with Backpack Buddies, a program that puts together bags of food for low-income children to take home on the…

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Aaron Price Q&A: Linemen take on shocking amount of tornado damage

“You’re never 100% prepared for anything.”   For Hoosier Energy Line Foreman Aaron Price, those words were never truer than on March 31, 2023, when a line of storms and tornadoes blasted their way through Sullivan County and into Owen County.   With the severe weather moving through in the late evening hours, it wasn’t…

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Cooperation trumps complexity at 2023 annual meeting

In many ways, the 2023 Hoosier Energy Annual Meeting picked up where the 2022 annual meeting left off.   A year ago, change was the unofficial theme of the event, which made its return after a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19.   This year, change got even more complicated but still seamlessly segued into the…

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Hoosier Energy members power up in wake of tornadoes

March did not go out like a lamb.   Instead, the transitional month capped the switch to spring with the worst tornado outbreak in over a decade in the state of Indiana.   A total of 10 tornadoes were recorded on March 31, tying May of 2011 for the fifth-largest tornado outbreak in Indiana history.…

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Complex issues, cooperative solutions on tap at annual meeting

Complex issues. Cooperative solutions.   The theme for Hoosier Energy’s 2023 Annual Meeting at French Lick Resort on April 5 produced a smorgasbord of tasty morsels for attendees to consider.   The appetizer was the usual business of acknowledging those who have served on the Board of Directors for the past year and confirming the…

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Hoosier Energy crews making great catches routine

Working in the field is almost never routine.   Hoosier Energy’s Worthington Substation crew recently proved this yet again.   While substation foreman Ryan Reed’s crew, including Troy Woods and Dustin Cox, was testing breakers at the Merom 345kV yard on February 21, substation apprentice mechanic Cam Thomson noticed a broken insulator located nearby.  …

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Tyler Manship Q&A: Bringing history with Hoosier to new role

Tyler Manship has spent more than 21 years as a lineman, 16 of those with Hoosier Energy, so he’s seen good days, bad days and most everything in between.   This past November, Manship was promoted to Transmission and Training Safety Specialist, stepping into the shoes of Kevin Burch. Manship recently spoke with GridLines about…

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Pair of Hoosier Energy co-ops receive apprenticeship grants

A pair of Hoosier Energy cooperatives were recently awarded grants as part of the State Apprenticeship Expansion program.   Clark County REMC was awarded $10,000 and Harrison County REMC $7,000 for apprentices dating back to 2019.   To qualify, apprentices must have at least 2,000 on-the-job training hours and be registered with the Department of…

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DER Subcommittee finding its footing

What started as an unknown six months ago has become a key component in determining the future for Hoosier Energy and its 18 member cooperatives.   The DER (distributed energy resources) Strategy Subcommittee met for the first time at Hoosier Energy headquarters in Bloomington back in September and has gathered momentum ever since.   Featuring…

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Clean sweep for Hoosier Energy in Youth Power and Hope Awards

The 2022 Youth Power and Hope Awards winners were announced at the Indiana Electric Cooperatives annual Recognition Banquet on Dec. 5, 2022, in Indianapolis, and it was a clean sweep for Hoosier Energy member cooperatives.   The awards program, coordinated by the staff of Indiana Connection magazine, has honored a select group of middle school…

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Hoosier Energy sees Winter Storm Elliott put up a fight

Winter Storm Elliott packed a punch in December, but Hoosier Energy’s 18 member cooperatives stood strong and experienced minimal disruptions.   The system absorbed a record-setting blow as temperatures dropped nearly 50 degrees in a span of 12 hours on Dec. 22 with two-to-three inches of snow across the service territory.   Overall, the average…

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Decatur County REMC hosts high school field trip

Decatur County REMC recently hosted a field trip from a dozen Greensburg High School seniors.   The students were treated to a variety of presentations designed to teach them about the cooperative and the utility industry.   The day started out with Decatur County REMC’s Pat Nobbe talking about distribution, Hoosier Energy’s Tommy Roberts speaking…

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Not even retirement goes according to plan for Mabrey

If things went according to plan, Matt Mabrey would have retired on October 1, 2022.   But as Mabrey has found out in life, and at Hoosier Energy for the past 21-plus years, things rarely go according to plan. So it wasn’t until January 6, 2023, that he officially retired, sort of. The former Vice…

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Bloomfield River Washout Project a unique challenge

There are projects, and then there is the Bloomfield River Washout Project.   Hoosier Energy recently wrapped up Phase I of one of the most daunting projects in recent memory. Others may cost more or take longer, but few match the complications involved in solving the kind of problem only Mother Nature can create.  …

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Q&A: HEATS a refreshing cool breeze with Dave Helton

Dave Helton’s been in the electric industry since 1990. During that time, he’s been a contractor, a lineman and for the past nine years a safety instructor for the Hoosier Energy Apprenticeship, Training and Safety (HEATS) program for apprentice linemen.   Recently, the Senior Training and Safety Specialist saw the 2022 HEATS class graduate, along…

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Cooperatives spring into action for annual Indiana Community Day

One of the core cooperative principles is concern for community.   Hoosier Energy saw 15 of its member cooperatives put this into practice for the annual “Indiana’s Electric Cooperative Community Day” as part of Co-op Month nationwide.   Community Day officially took place on October 14, although a number of cooperatives set up different dates…

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Economic Development Q & A: Hoosier Energy named Top 20

Hoosier Energy made the cut when Site Selection magazine recently revealed its 2022 Top Utilities in Economic Development.   For Hoosier Energy, which was also featured in the publication for its efforts with ESG, being just one of 20 utilities so honored was no small feat. Hoosier’s economic development efforts are guided by manager Harold Gutzwiller, along with…

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People make the difference at Electrify Indiana 2022

INDIANAPOLIS – In his closing remarks at Electrify Indiana 2022, Keith Dennis was focused on people, not technology.   “If we’re going to meet (the beneficial electrification) challenge and do it in a way that strengthens us, we have to work together,” said Dennis, president of the Beneficial Electrification League (BEL). “Part of working together…

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Electrify Indiana a sizzling success

INDIANAPOLIS – The previous incarnation of the Electrify Indiana conference took place three years ago at Hoosier Energy headquarters in Bloomington.   On September 22, the 2022 version upped the ante at The Westin in Indianapolis.   With over 270 attendees – many from Hoosier Energy members, 33 sponsors and 23 exhibitors, the event sizzled…

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Hoosier Energy members well-represented in lineman rodeo

The first-ever Indiana Electric Cooperative Lineman Rodeo was held Aug. 25-26 in Danville. The two-day event showcased the skills and safety training of electric cooperative lineworkers.   A total of 15 teams and 54 individuals competed in this year’s event, including 26 individuals from six Hoosier Energy member cooperatives – Clark County REMC, JCREMC, RushShelby…

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A day off just what Clark County REMC needed

It started with a note in the suggestion box and ended with tears of joy three years later.   That was how Clark County REMC came to be closed to the public on Sept. 7 for an employee training and appreciation day.   Employee training sessions and appreciation events are a regular occurrence at the…

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Last Chance to Register for Electrify Indiana 2022 conference

One week until Sept. 15 registration deadline     INDIANAPOLIS – Hoosier Energy, Wabash Valley Power Alliance (WVPA) and the Benefici al Electrification League (BEL) will host Electrify Indiana 2022 in downtown Indianapolis on Sept. 22.   Registration for this event ends September 15. The event will bring together multiple stakeholders, provide education about beneficial electrification, explore…

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No substitute for substation training

Hoosier Energy began annual substation training for the Member Systems in late July, and the sessions will continue through early November.   “Whereas Hoosier employees are in the substations potentially hundreds of times a year, the co-op linemen have very limited exposure to the substations and the equipment within,” said Cory Berg, Hoosier Energy Safety…

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Matt Mabrey Q&A: Project Management Training more than meets the eye

One of Hoosier Energy’s strategic priorities is Continuous Improvement. Among the initiatives falling under that umbrella is Project Management Training for employees. That task was taken on by Vice President of Operations Matt Mabrey and his team, including Continuous Improvement Program Coordinator Chrystal Hoffmeister.   With the aid of Chad Harding, Misti Beiser and Warren…

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Hoosier Energy and Wabash Valley Power Alliance announce Electrify Indiana 2022 conference

Attendees to learn about beneficial electrification, emerging technology and funding opportunities   INDIANAPOLIS – Hoosier Energy, Wabash Valley Power Alliance (WVPA) and the Beneficial Electrification League (BEL) are partnering to host the Electrify Indiana 2022 conference in downtown Indianapolis on Sept. 22.   The event will bring together multiple stakeholders, provide education about beneficial electrification, explore emerging electrification…

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Mark Thompson Q&A: New role will help create pricing structures, mitigate risk for large member-consumers

Mark Thompson was recently promoted to Manager of Market-Based Rates and Special Contracts at Hoosier Energy. He previously served as a Key Accounts Manager at Hoosier Energy.   The new role will oversee the analysis, development and implementation of wholesale market-based rates and special contracts with large commercial and industrial loads.   Thompson, who came…

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Scholarship season for Cooperative students

June doesn’t only mark the start of summer, but the start of a new chapter for many high school graduates with college on the horizon.   A total of 86 students from 14 of Hoosier Energy’s member cooperatives earned scholarships this year, including three winners of the Indiana Electric Cooperatives Manager’s Association Scholarship.   Those…

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Q&A with Justin Thompson: Member Relations Specialist

Hoosier Energy recently announced the addition of two Member Relations Specialists to the Energy Management Solutions department. One of those was an internal hire in Kyle Coulson, while the other was an external hire in Justin Thompson, who came to Hoosier Energy from Indiana Municipal Power Agency (IMPA). Prior to that, he worked as a…

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HQ Appreciation Meeting Photo Gallery

Late May saw Hoosier Energy hold Employee Appreciation Meetings, which replaced the annual employee meetings.   Two sessions were held at the Spencer Operations Center and one at Hoosier Energy Headquarters. There was also an Outage Appreciation Lunch at Merom Generating Station.   During the meetings at Spencer and HQ, Hoosier Energy CEO Donna Walker…

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Ops Center Appreciation Meeting Photo Gallery

Late May saw Hoosier Energy hold Employee Appreciation Meetings, which replaced the annual employee meetings.   Two sessions were held at the Spencer Operations Center and one at Hoosier Energy Headquarters. There was also an Outage Appreciation Lunch at Merom Generating Station.   During the meetings at Spencer and HQ, Hoosier Energy CEO Donna Walker…

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Charlestown students go to school with Clark County REMC

The seed was planted two and a half years ago.   This May, what was planted finally got to bloom.   Clark County REMC and Charlestown High School have combined to give students not only a classroom view of the generation and transmission of electricity but practical, hands-on experience.   The 2021-22 school year was…

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Cooperation among cooperatives on display

  Clark County REMC was looking for a live line tabletop demo. The Utilities District of Western Indiana (UDWI) had an extra one.   In the cooperative spirit, the latter donated to the former, putting both co-ops in a position to better educate their member-consumers.   “We were happy to help out,” UDWI CEO Doug…

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Voges proves Adept during Webinar

No stop signs, no traffic lights. Not even a roundabout.   That was how file management used to feel for Bernie Voges, Senior Protection Engineer for Hoosier Energy.   But thanks to Adept Software, Hoosier finally found a way to police those files and provide some direction.   In April, Voges was one of three…

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Lonnberg bids Hoosier Energy goodbye after 35 years

“There’s a guy here in the corporate office looking to hire an engineer, do you want to talk to him?”   Bill Lonnberg answered the question in the affirmative and never looked back.   Hired on in November of 1986, Lonnberg wrapped up a career of more than 35 years at Hoosier Energy last month.…

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2022 Annual Meeting: Not The Same Old Thing

FRENCH LICK – The Hoosier Energy Annual Meeting is a rite of passage, or at least it was up until 2019.   After a three-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that rite was renewed on April 7, 2022, at the French Lick Resort.   But in keeping with the abnormality of the previous three…

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WhyElectrify website a win for members and consumers

Before launching the WhyElectrify website, which happened on March 1, there was another question to be asked – why WhyElectrify? For Hoosier Energy’s Blake Kleaving, Manager Energy Management Solutions, the best way to answer the question was with a question.   “It was really a lack of educational resources for member-consumers to learn about what’s…

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Q&A with Blake Kleaving: Launching Why Electrify website

Hoosier Energy and its 18 member-cooperatives announced the launch of the “Why Electrify” website on March 1. D esigned as a member-consumer educational resource website, www.whyelectrify.com will offer resources and materials for member cooperatives to offer their communities. Blake Kleaving, Manager Energy Management Solutions, told GridLines more about the project, which has been a long-time…

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Case, Werner named inaugural scholarship winners

Whether it was the first grade or eighth grade, the dream began early.   On December 17, 2021, that dream became reality for Jasper’s Mitchell Werner and Greensburg’s Waylan Case as they graduated from the North American Lineman Training Center.   Both claimed their diploma from the school in McEwen, Tennessee, with the help of…

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Hoosier Energy approves strategic plan for the future

The Hoosier Energy Board of Directors recently approved new strategic priorities for the organization. The process included updating Hoosier’s vision and mission statements as well. They are now identifying initiatives that will fall within each priority and look forward to sharing those once finalized.   OUR VISION The trusted partner and provider of reliable, affordable…

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Hoosier’s Harding side by side with tornado victims

For Hoosier Energy’s Chad Harding, side-by-side is a way of life.   That goes for his hobby, riding side-by-side utility vehicles and serving as one of four administrators for the 6,400-plus members of the Southern Indiana SxS Facebook group.   But the term also fits that group’s mentality when it comes to adversity, opting to…

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Q&A: Heather Hughet on new Learning Management System

When the calendar turned from 2021 to 2022, the ball didn’t just drop in Times Square at midnight. A new learning management system, located at www.heca.coop, also came online for Hoosier Energy employees as Docebo replaced Taleo Learn. Technology Support Services Team Lead Heather Hughet recently answered some questions from Gridlines about the change.  …

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Making a difference together

At the heart of the cooperative culture is an honest desire to provide services that value reliability, affordability and sustainability, as well as fairness to all. Find out how Hoosier Energy and its members are making a difference together.

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Resilient upgrades

Through an internal study, it was determined upgrading high voltage power poles from Bloomington to Sullivan would increase grid reliability. Find out how the multi-year project was completed ahead of schedule.

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Behind the lens

Hoosier Energy helps co-ops produce pre-recorded and live video productions as socially distant annual meetings take place during the pandemic.

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Selecting Safe Software

As organizations utilize more digital services, they can be exposed to cyber attacks if vendors used are not properly vetted. Bad actors are sneaky, sometimes persistent, and can move around networks undetected – SolarWinds can attest to that. 

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When Disaster Strikes

From tornadoes to cyberattacks, the world is not always as safe as we’d like it to be. Unfortunately, we’ve seen from places like Texas what can happen when millions of people are cut off from power. More than 100 people lost their lives in the state this winter due to hypothermia, carbon monoxide poisoning, fires and other accidents. 

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The Beetle Battle

Every two years Hoosier Energy’s forecasting group takes a snapshot of energy trends to develop 20-year load forecasts across the power network. This business analysis is compiled into the Power Requirements Study (PRS) and it tackles three main business functions – system planning, budgeting and financial requirements. Tina Elliott and Justin Rice lead the forecasting work at Hoosier Energy and their process is research-focused and driven by data.

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Managing Energy Together

Managing consumer energy demand has taken many directions during the past 12 years. From helping members transition to LED lights to the recycling of inefficient refrigerators, the program continues to be nimble as it connects programs to meet member needs. 

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What caused that outage?

Glance up to the sky and the answer likely lies above. Nine times out of 10 when those clear blue skies change, electric service is threatened. How can you outguess Mother Nature? You can’t. But that doesn’t sway the Hoosier Energy Power Delivery team. It challenges them. They are always monitoring the weather, and if a storm rolls in or lightning strikes, they are ready.

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Renewable Energy Growth in Southern Indiana

Hoosier Energy recently signed a long-term power purchase agreement with Capital Dynamics CEI to buy 150 megawatts of power generated by the Ratts 2 Solar Project in Knox County, Indiana. Construction is expected to begin in 2022 with commercial operation anticipated in 2023.

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Modeling the Future

Every two years Hoosier Energy’s forecasting group takes a snapshot of energy trends to develop 20-year load forecasts across the power network. This business analysis is compiled into the Power Requirements Study (PRS) and it tackles three main business functions – system planning, budgeting and financial requirements. Tina Elliott and Justin Rice lead the forecasting work at Hoosier Energy and their process is research-focused and driven by data.

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The creative connection for co-op success

When Trina Pardue joined Hoosier Energy 28 years ago, she couldn’t foresee how drastically her job would change. Starting as a division secretary and transitioning to an associate in Financial and Corporate services, Pardue had become the go-to person for designing presentation materials.

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Q&A Feature: Chris Goffinet

Chris Goffinet started visiting Hoosier Energy with his two law partners in 1993. When one retired and the other left to become a judge, Goffinet took over as Hoosier Energy’s general counsel in 2003 and has continued in that capacity since. EnergyLines sat down with him to discuss his favorite activities and the advice he would give his younger self.

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A bird’s-eye-view of site development

Marketing commercial and industrial sites for development in member communities consists of detailed data for use by site selectors. This information includes area utilities and regional workforce demographics. Also important are the visuals. Capturing each property visually involves getting in an aircraft to get a bird’s-eye-view. Rising up to 8,000 feet shows site topography and property lines. This can be an expensive and time-consuming process. It is also one that has been dramatically improved by drones.

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Updating the Grid

Whether adjusting for the pandemic or planning for the future, Hoosier Energy is responsibly executing its capital plans to maintain, repair and upgrade assets to ensure the resiliency of Hoosier Energy’s transmission system. “We’re targeting assets that are in the higher-risk category for failure because of their age and condition. That should translate to better asset performance, improved reliability and fewer outages,” said Matt Mabrey, Vice President of Operations. “This should give our members a lot of confidence that we’re utilizing financial resources wisely.”

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Transformation of a Training Center

In 1967, Hoosier Energy’s Franklin Training Center site was just a simple concrete block building full of mice that couldn’t be used for its intended purpose – a primary substation powered from Napoleon – because new regulations restricted power line construction in the area. Co-op leaders were dreaming of a training program to ensure line workers had the skills and knowledge they needed to keep themselves and others safe on the job.

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Remaining steadfast as workforce pursues its goals

Hoosier Energy CEO Donna Walker shared a video message with the board of directors and employees about the teamwork, persistence and achievements the G&T had throughout the year. Walker spoke about the long-range resource plan, employee training, wholesale rate design, COVID-19 and employee safety.

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Co-op leaders discuss member-focused programs

With the pandemic halting large gatherings across the state, organizers chose to hold the Fall 2020 Marketing and Member Services Meeting virtually. Taking place in six sessions, the virtual meetings provided updates on pilots, offered information on industry programs and facilitated feedback from members in roundtable discussions.

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Rural Energy Audit

Hoosier Energy and member cooperatives, in partnership with GDS Associates, are relaunching the Rural Energy Audit pilot program. This is an opportunity for rural farms and small businesses to take part in an American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) Tier II Energy Audit.

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Stories from the Front Lines

In his 27 years at Hoosier Energy, Line Foreman Mark Richardson has trekked countless hours across the hills and hollers of southern Indiana and Illinois to find downed power lines. Each winter storm comes with its own challenges complicated by cold temperatures and excessive snowfall.

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Substation updates improve resiliency

On the outskirts of Vevay, Ind., one of Hoosier Energy’s primary substations has had substantial improvements made. The focus of this four-month project was to connect an alternate AC source for a nearby microwave tower. Power is being supplied by Southeastern Indiana REMC.

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The 1,400-Piece Puzzle

Just like a car that requires maintenance to operate reliably, the Merom Generating Station gets preventative maintenance during scheduled outages. Often occurring in the spring when energy demand is low, generation on a single unit is halted. Boiler tubes and duct work are inspected and repaired — along with about 1,400 other tasks that must be completed in a meticulously calculated order.

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Rising to the Sky

When you hear it, it is a distinct buzzing sound. It is a little louder than a bee buzzing nearby. If you look up, you might find it – a drone flying overhead. This equipment is no longer just for hobbyists, it has become an intricate tool used by electric utilities to increase safety and grid resiliency. Hoosier Energy is using this equipment for monitoring rights-of-way and powerlines that can transmit up to 345kV of energy. This improves safety, reduces response time and saves money.

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Charging Ahead

The energy industry is evolving and Hoosier Energy is evolving along with it. A new initiative was introduced by the Hoosier Energy Emerging Energy Resources (EER) team to help members focus on the changing needs and habits of member-consumers.

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Adaptive Annual Meetings

The response to the pandemic has led to new ways of doing things. For co-ops, they have changed how they meet – especially for annual meetings that often draw hundreds of members.

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Safety Observation Process

When asked to use a No. 2 pencil, fill circles completely and make no stray marks on the form, these instructions are likely to bring back memories of school years when scantron technology was used for testing. Merom Generating Station’s Job Safety Observation Team is utilizing scantron technology in a new way.

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Cooperative team gets information pieces to fit

When an outage occurs, operations crews focus on getting the power back on safely. While they’re doing that, co-op communicators work to keep member-consumers updated with timely information. This requires a collaboration between the communications and operations teams – a relationship Henry County REMC’s Lara Sullivan has been building for several years.

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Grant funding lifeline during COVID-19 pandemic

Just days before closing the One Southern Indiana office for the COVID-19 pandemic, President and CEO Wendy Dant Chesser had two challenges facing the economic development and Chamber of Commerce organization — how to not only sustain, but also help the 1,068 business members that would be scared and hurting financially.

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2019 Annual Report: Focused on the Future

Working alongside member-cooperatives, Hoosier Energy is creating competitive advantages for the industries, farms and residences that make up the communities that depend on us to meet their power needs. Every conversation, every project, every pilot program is executed with one question in mind — How will our collective efforts benefit our members and theirs?

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Resiliency on the Grid

In 2019, Hoosier Energy made significant progress on power delivery capital projects to update and improve aging infrastructure, while managing costs to maintain grid resiliency, according to Rob Horton, Chief Operating Officer at Hoosier Energy.

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The Pandemic Plan

Hoosier Energy created a pandemic plan about 10 years ago when the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health organizations suggested that businesses prepare for an influenza A outbreak.

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Duff/Coleman grid expansion project moves forward

Republic Transmission (through a Hoosier Energy and LS Power partnership) together with Big Rivers Electric Corporation, have completed about five miles of the single circuit 345 kilovolt Duff/Coleman line. Spanning 30 miles, this transmission line will cross sections of Dubois County, Indiana; Spencer County, Indiana; and Hancock County, Kentucky.

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Report highlights energy efficiency program success

The Demand Side Management (DSM) annual report focuses on program descriptions and data, as well as highlights from the year, the most significant being in the lighting programs. The residential lighting program accounted for nearly 90 percent of 2019 measures, with cooperatives securing more than 9,000 LEDs and members buying an additional 16,000 bulbs through the lighting store.

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Simulator training aids in everyday tasks, adverse events

When Matt Figg trained as a control operator at Merom Generating Station, he stood at a tapered bench board covered with pistol grips, switches and buttons and looked at a giant wall of lights, gauges and paper charts. To prepare for future situations, Figg would run actions through his mind – turn this switch, push that button.

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Going all-electric
in southern Indiana

Electric vehicles (EV) are converging on the Midwest, albeit slowly. With their entrance, new challenges are being identified for members and cooperatives alike. EnergyLines was able to reach out to Southern Indiana Power member-consumer Bradley Lynch to discuss the challenges he faces with owning an all-electric car in Southern Indiana.

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Providing internet access to all

In December 2017, South Central Indiana REMC board of directors made the decision to create SCI Fiber, a business division that would not only provide high-speed internet access to its members, but also a smart grid to improve system reliability and lay the foundation for broader infrastructure that could elevate Indiana’s connectivity standing in the country.

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Grant helps clinic stay free

Lori Grubbs, vice chair of the board of directors for Volunteers in Medicine Dearborn, Ohio and Switzerland Counties, says the free clinic was at a crossroads when it received a $1,000 grant from the Southeastern Indiana REMC’s Operation RoundUp.

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All in a day’s work for facilities employee

The Facilities Department at Hoosier Energy is tasked with maintaining more than 70 locations 24/7/365. From maintaining generators to office maintenance, the team of eight keeps the cooperative running smoothly. EnergyLines followed Brad Smith for a day. What took place was average until an emergency call came in.

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