power generation

Nick Mascia looks for damage on a turbine.

At their peak: Buckeye Power's peaking generators

During the year’s milder periods, a peaking facility like the Greenville Generating Station might go six weeks without spinning up to produce electricity for Ohio electric cooperative consumer-members.

However, when extreme heat or a disaster strikes, the plant answers the call. For example, when tornadoes caused devastation around Celina last Memorial Day, Greenville was online around the clock for the next three days.

The really interesting part? For either extreme, it’s up to a crew of only four to make sure the power stays on.

A woman stands as the "1" in 2019 against a sunset.

Looking ahead

Ohio’s electric cooperatives had a busy and successful 2018. As we look ahead to 2019, we’re excited about the opportunities to work safer, to work smarter, and to inspire greater impact on the communities we serve. We’ve forged the foundation for each initiative, and we’ll “check and adjust” our efforts, as warranted.

An enormous spile holds long wire used to supply power.

Island power

Supplying electricity to an island is no small feat. Supplying reliable electricity to the largest American island on Lake Erie is a monumental task.

Kelleys Island, one of the most popular tourist destinations anywhere in Ohio, is entirely served by Hancock-Wood Electric Cooperative, which has been charged with that job since its 1967 consolidation with the former Lake Erie Electric Cooperative.

David Ervin and Knute Lahrs pose for a picture beside the sign for Kelleys Island.

Kelleys Island: Old and New

Hop on a huge ferry boat, and after a 20-minute ride through the choppy Lake Erie waters, you’ll arrive at the idyllic Kelleys Island, about 4 miles north of Marblehead, Ohio, and the largest American island on the lake. The island is home to about 140 year-round residents, though the population swells to well over 400 residents and 5,000 tourists during the busy summer months.

Dave and Danielle Buschur smile together for a photo.

Economic partners: Co-ops spur growth in their communities

Dave Buschur saw the opportunity for his business; he just wasn’t sure he could take advantage of it. Buschur is president of Buschur’s Custom Farm Service in Maria Stein, which, among other services, hauls poultry, swine, manure, and grain for area farmers.

“We saw a need for a bio-secure automatic washing facility for trucks and trailers,” Buschur says. “It’s not a requirement, it’s just good practice to decontaminate after every run — you sure don’t want to be the reason anyone’s birds get sick — and there’s nothing else like this around for 500 miles.”

Independently working together

Without exception, electric cooperatives throughout the state of Ohio are proud, ingrained resources for the communities they serve. Of course, co-ops provide electricity to area homes, churches, and businesses, but that’s not all that they do for their communities.

Co-op employees live in those small towns; shop at the local supermarket; coach Little League teams; champion civic projects; and lend a hand when their neighbors need one. Ohio co-op staffs have a vested interest in doing what’s right for both the cooperative and their fellow citizens.

Three men hold tight to a rope.

Turning on the lights: Las Tortugas and San Jorge

In a way, the scene was reminiscent of 1930s and ’40s rural America: two out-of-the-way villages getting electricity for the first time. This past March, however, the setting was a remote area of Central America, where a team of 17 linemen from Ohio electric cooperatives traveled to the villages of Las Tortugas and San Jorge, in northern Guatemala, on a humanitarian mission to supply electricity for the first time to the small villages.

A group of workers sit in the back of a pickup truck.

Back to Guatemala

Electric cooperatives were founded in the spirit of neighbor helping neighbor. Co-ops brought light to rural America, and that partnership lit the way for us to carry the tradition beyond our borders. In 2016, linemen from across Ohio’s electric cooperative network mirrored that effort for our international neighbors in Guatemala. We brought power to the village of La Soledad, changing lives, providing hope for the future — and providing perspective on the impact we can have on underserved people still today.