SCEC Returns $2.1M to Members from 2007-12
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SCEC Returns $2.1 Million to Members from 2007-12
Per kWh charge included fees associated with storage, security of spent nuclear fuel; settlement reimburses members.
HAMMOND, Wis., June 16, 2017 – Current members of St. Croix Electric Cooperative who paid for electricity from SCEC at any time during the years 2007 to 2012 will see a credit on their July electric bills. The credit is in proportion to the amount the member paid for electricity during that time.
A total of $2.1 million will be returned to current and former SCEC members from 2007-12, as part of a $73 million settlement Dairyland Power Cooperative received from the Department of Energy. The settlement returns fees incurred by DPC members to secure and store spent nuclear fuel from Dairyland’s shut-down LACBWR (pronounced “lack-bar”) nuclear facility during those years. Dairyland is the wholesale power provider for SCEC, one of 24 distribution cooperatives who are member-owners. Dairyland sued the U.S. government for costs incurred by failing
|photo courtesy Dairyland Power Cooperative
Storage casks for spent nuclear fuel from the La Crosse Boiling Water Reactor (LACBWR) (pronounced lack-bar) sit at the Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation site (ISFSI). The moisture on the ground is from recent rainfall.
to provide a long-term storage facility. The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 stated the government would properly dispose of spent nuclear fuel no later than Jan. 31, 1998. To this day, no permanent storage site exists.
“Suing the federal government was not the route Dairyland wanted to take. However, by not meeting the terms of the NWPA, Dairyland’s members – and their electric cooperatives’ members – have been burdened with the cost to secure and store LACBWR’s spent nuclear fuel. That’s not right,” SCEC President/CEO Mark Pendergast said.
The $73 million settlement was passed from Dairyland to its members. Each cooperative could then choose how to utilize the money. At the 80th Annual Meeting of Members on April 8, SCEC Chairman of the Board Bill Peavey announced the Board of Directors elected to return the entire $2.1 million to the members who paid for the extra storage. Current members of the Co-op who paid for electricity any time between 2007 and 2012,
will receive a credit on their July electric bills, while former members from those years will have their NWPA credit added to their capital credit allocation for those years.
“As Directors, we knew the right thing to do was return the members’ money to the members who paid the added costs,” Peavey said. “As a not-for-profit cooperative, we returned the credit where credit was due.”
Current members will receive nearly $1.6 million in bill credits on their July 2017 bills. For many, Peavey said, that will cover most – and, in some cases, all – of what they owe for the month. The remaining $500,000 is the approximate total that will be assigned to former members who were SCEC members during 2007-12.
Failure by the federal government to provide a long-term storage facility for spent nuclear fuel by Jan. 31, 1998, has resulted in two lawsuits initiated by Dairyland. In 2013, $590,000 was returned to SCEC members from DPC’s first lawsuit against the government for storing the fuel from 1999-2006. The dramatic increase in settlement money for 2007-12 is a result of Dairyland moving the spent fuel out of LACBWR’s on-site storage pool to dry cask storage off-site so the process of decommissioning the facility could begin.
According to Dairyland’s website (www.dairylandpower.coop), the La Crosse Boiling Water Reactor (LACBWR) was built in 1967 as part of a joint project with the federal Atomic Energy Commission to demonstrate the peacetime use of nuclear power. In April 1987, LACBWR was shut down and placed in SAFSTOR, but the used fuel remained on-site. Although the fuel was safe in LACBWR’s storage pool, it was not intended as a long-term storage solution. Additionally, Dairyland could not proceed with final decommissioning of the facility while the fuel was on site. Dairyland prepared for several years to remove LACBWR’s used fuel from the fuel pool and place it into a dry cask storage system on the south end of Dairyland’s Genoa Site, in Genoa, Wis. The fuel is monitored around the clock at the Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation site (ISFSI), in accordance with NRC regulations. Final decommissioning, which will include demobilizing equipment, shutting down systems and draining the fuel pool among other tasks, is expected to take five to seven years.
About St. Croix Electric Cooperative
St. Croix Electric Cooperative (SCEC) was incorporated on Nov. 5, 1937, as a result of five farmers determined to bring electricity to rural St. Croix County, Wis. On May 24, 1939, electricity was delivered to the first account. Seventy-eight years later, Sunflower II – a 2.34-MW solar array – was energized on SCEC lines. Sunflower II followed Sunflower 1, a 103-kW solar array that was among Wisconsin’s first member-supported solar arrays, which was energized July 8, 2014. Today, the Cooperative operates 1,772 miles of distribution lines that power 11,000 meters. SCEC helps members realize the Cooperative Difference through Commitment to Community grants, scholarships, rebates, and solutions to conserve and use energy wisely. More information is available online at www.scecnet.net, and on social media: @StCroixElecCoop (Twitter) and St. Croix County Energizer (Facebook).
About Dairyland Power Cooperative
With headquarters in La Crosse, Wis., Dairyland provides wholesale electricity to 24 member distribution cooperatives and 17 municipal utilities. A Touchstone Energy Cooperative, Dairyland’s service area encompasses 62 counties in four states (Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois). Dairyland’s generation resources include coal, natural gas, hydro, solar, wind and landfill gas. For more information, visit www.dairylandpower.coop.