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Who is the MREC?. When and where does the MREC meet?. What does the MREC do?. What is the Midwest Rural Energy Council?. Farms and other rural energy consumers Rural energy suppliers Farm organizations and agricultural trade groups

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when and where does the mrec meet

Who is the MREC?

When and where does the MREC meet?

What does the MREC do?

what is the midwest rural energy council
What is the Midwest Rural Energy Council?
  • Farms and other rural energy consumers
  • Rural energy suppliers
  • Farm organizations and agricultural trade groups
  • Electrical equipment and allied industries
  • Government agencies

The MREC is a 50+ year partnership between Rural Electric Power Suppliers and Land Grant Universities in the upper Midwest. Its mission is to support outreach, education and research on rural energy issues for the benefit of:

mrec history
MREC History
  • The Wisconsin Farm Electric Council
  • (WFEC) was Incorporated in 1954 by
    • 5 investor owned utilities + 29 rural electric cooperatives and the
    • University of Wisconsin, Department of Agricultural Engineering
  • It was one of many farm electric councils in the US that were established as partnerships between the electric utility industry and Land Grant Universities Cooperative Extension programs.
  • The number of FEC’s decreased dramatically in the 1980’s and 1990’s
  • The MREC was formed in 1996 when
    • WFEC member utility territories started to cross state lines
    • Minnesota Utilities joined the council
    • The University of Minnesota became affiliated
    • Iowa State University
  • The council has continued to add new members
    • The South Dakota, East River Coop group
    • South Dakota State University
who is the mrec
Who is the MREC?

The MREC’s members are involved in Energy Distribution, Energy Efficiency, Energy Generation (both small and large scale), Energy Education and other energy issues of interest to rural energy suppliers and consumers. Our members include:

  • Rural Electric Coop Associations
    • Wisconsin
    • Minnesota
    • South Dakota
  • Land Grant Universities
    • University of Wisconsin
    • University of Minnesota
    • South Dakota State
    • Iowa State
  • Affiliates
    • Energy Service Organizations
    • Trade Affiliates
    • Individuals
  • Investor-Owned Utilities
    • Alliant Energy
    • Madison Gas and Electric
    • Minnesota Power
    • Ottertail Power
    • We Energies
    • Wisconsin Public Service Corp.
    • Xcel Energy
how the mrec communicates
How the MREC Communicates

The MREC’s primary function is to share best known practices between industry, academia, government, utilities and individuals. To aid in this goal, the MREC uses three primary means to share information and communicate with its members:

  • MREC Website
  • Annual Conference
  • Publications
what s on our website
What’s on Our Website
  • About the MREC
  • Important Upcoming Dates and Conferences
  • Publications
  • Topical Information Pages

We have designed our web site to be ‘3 clicks’ away from the information you need on rural energy issues. Our Navigation bar includes links to important topics including:

how to use our website
How to Use Our Website

When you have selected which area of the website you want to view from the navigation links, they are displayed in the body section which is circled to the left. This is where you can find information like:

  • Topic descriptions
  • Links to downloadable documents
  • Email links to content owners
  • And more!
website area what s new
Website Area: What\'s New

The What\'s New area of the website contains important upcoming dates, conference notifications and links to information presented at past events. Using this page, it is easy to get an “at a glance” look at both how far we have come and where we are headed!

website area about the mrec
Website Area: About the MREC

The About the MREC area of the website is where you can find out logistic information about the group. This area is important as it explains how the Council is structured, contact information for the officers, executive committee and board members, as well as how to become a member.

annual mrec conference
Annual MREC Conference

One of the most important ways the MREC interacts with its members is by hosting an annual conference. In addition to key notes and speakers on a variety of key topics, there are also breakout sessions for more in-depth discussion of concepts. The MREC’s annual conference is an excellent way to keep current with the latest technology, share best practices and network with your fellow members. Some of our past conference topics have included:

  • Past, Present and Future of Rural Electrification Issues
  • The Role of Utility Personnel in Litigation
  • Stray Voltage
  • Measuring Cow Contact Voltages
  • Interconnect Agreements and Distributed Generation
  • Wind Power
  • Investigating Electrical Phenomena on Farms
46th annual mrec rural energy conference
46th Annual MRECRural Energy Conference
  • Transmission and Distribution technology
  • Stray Voltage testing
  • Farm Wiring
  • Energy Efficiency on farms and food plants
  • And much more!

More information on the 46th, 2008 annual conference to come!

Some key topics from past years included:

Be sure to sign up for a reminder on the website!

website area publications
Website Area: Publications

Thissection houses the many publications released by the MREC. The articles and information sheets are available for download directly from the site but are available in paper form for a small fee. Some of the most recent article topics cover:

  • Farming Safely and Efficiently with Electricity
  • Planning Electrical Systems for Dairy Expansion
  • Power Quality and Computers on the Farm
  • Installation and Operation of Fencers, Cow Trainers and Crowd Gates
  • Stray Voltage Detection: A Self-Help Guide
  • Equipotential Planes for Stray Voltage Reduction
publication farming safely and efficiently with electricity
Publication:Farming Safely and Efficiently with Electricity

Electrical Safety is Important to All of Us

  • Research shows that farming is a hazardous occupation. These hazards include electric shock which can cause farm worker fatalities. Many farm workers have been seriously injured as a result of contacting power lines while moving or installing augers or lifting grain probes, irrigation pipe or well pipe.
  • With the widespread use of electricity on today’s farming operations, we believe you should be aware of the potential dangers involved in using it. The electrical system on your farm, just like other equipment, must be installed and maintained so that it will operate safely.
  • This brochure provides basic information about farm electrical safety. This is not a wiring handbook.
publication planning electrical systems for dairy expansion
Publication:Planning Electrical Systems for Dairy Expansion
  • If you are considering a new or expanded dairy, it is crucial to include the electrical system early in the planning process, as it may contribute significantly to the cost and design details of your expanded facility. Careful planning and design will ensure the job is done right the first time and will help avoid upgrade costs in the future.
  • This booklet will help you understand the relationship between the electrical system and total facility design. It outlines many aspects of:
    • Planning a new or updated electrical system
    • Who needs to be involved
    • What questions you should ask them.
publication power quality and computers on the farm
Publication:Power Quality and Computers on the Farm
  • Quality of electrical power is becoming an increasingly important issue on farms. This is not a result of changes in power quality delivered to farms, but rather a change in the type of electrical equipment used on farms.
  • Power quality disturbances can be caused by outside sources such as weather, normal utility operations, neighboring facilities, or on the premises through unsound wiring, improper grounding, or internal equipment such as large motors, variable frequency drives, laser printers, and fax or copy machines.
  • As agricultural businesses rely more heavily on computers and electronics for their daily operations, the need for high quality power becomes apparent.
  • Typical farm equipment that requires

high quality power includes:

    • Computers
    • Cow identification systems
    • Data acquisition equipment
    • Controllers (e.g., for ventilation fans)
    • Electronic timers and clocks
publication installation and operation of fencers cow trainers and crowd gates
Publication:Installation and Operation of Fencers,Cow Trainers and Crowd Gates
  • Electric fencers, cow trainers and crowd gates have been used on farms for many years to help manage animals. These devices are designed to produce avoidance behavior when the animal comes into contact with an energized object. Electric fencing technology has progressed over the years resulting in safer devices and improved animal control in both grazing and confinement systems.
  • Like any technology, however, if not installed properly or not used correctly, problems can occur. One potential problem is fencer shocks appearing in unintended locations.
  • This publication provides a review of the basic electrical concepts of fencer operation as well as guidelines for installing safe and effective electric fencer systems. Recommendations are also provided regarding fencer and trainer operation and maintenance.
publication stray voltage detection a self help guide
Publication:Stray Voltage Detection: A Self-Help Guide
  • For a number of years, stray voltage has been a concern among livestock farmers, particularly those with dairy herds.
  • This booklet has been prepared to give you a basic understanding of stray voltage, some of its common causes, how to determine if it exists on your farm at levels that may be harmful, and when to call for assistance to minimize it.
  • This booklet is specifically

oriented toward the dairy

farmer; however, most of

the information provided

is applicable to all livestock

operations.

publication equipotential planes for stray voltage reduction installation guidelines
Publication:Equipotential Planes for Stray Voltage Reduction: Installation Guidelines
  • For a number of years, stray voltage has been a concern among livestock farmers, particularly those with dairy herds. An equipotential plane is one means for reducing the possibility of stray voltage in livestock confinement areas on your farm.
  • An equipotential plane is an electrically conductive grid that is embedded in concrete and designed to minimize stray voltage in animal confinement areas.
  • Some areas where you might want to install an equipotential plane in a dairy facility include:
    • Stanchion barns
    • Tie-Stall barns
    • Free-Stall barns
    • Milking parlors including operator pits
    • The area surrounding electrically heated

waterers and mechanical-feed bunks.

    • Unheated waterers connected to metal

water pipes.

website area information pages
Website Area: Information Pages
  • Stray Voltage
  • EMF
  • Agricultural Ventilation
  • Agricultural Energy Conservation

In addition to published articles, the MREC also produces short information sheets which give a brief overview of a specific subject. Some of the topics include:

  • Agricultural Wiring Code
  • Anaerobic Digestion and Bio-Gas
  • Bio-Energy and Bio-Products
  • Wind Energy
informational page stray voltage
Informational Page:Stray Voltage
  • The term stray voltage has been used for the past 40 years to describe a special case of voltage developed on the grounded neutral system of a farm.
  • This page provides a collection of information from credible sources on:
    • What stray voltage is
    • How to conduct a stray voltage investigation
    • How stray voltage affects animals
    • How to reduce voltage levels
  • MREC publications are available for download
    • from basic consumer oriented
    • too advanced engineering level
  • To help you provide professional information to your clientele
informational page emf
Informational Page:EMF
  • This MREC page will keep you up-to-date on issues relating to EMF
    • Current issues
    • Research
    • Regulation and policy
  • By providing you with
    • Publications and
    • An organized collection of links to other organizations
informational page ventilation
Informational Page:Ventilation
  • Ventilation of livestock facilities is critical to the performance and health of farm animals.
  • Ventilation is also one of the major uses of electrical energy on dairy, swine and poultry farms.
  • The MREC presents this page in cooperation with University Extension and Research faculty to bring you the latest information on
    • Ventilation system design
    • Energy efficiency
    • New ventilation technology
informational page ag energy conservation
Informational Page:Ag Energy Conservation
  • Electrical energy consumption in

agriculture has grown steadily due to

increased mechanization,

use of confinement housing and expanding farm size.

  • There are many new technologies available that can make your farm more energy efficient.
  • Upgrading older equipment or purchasing high efficiency equipment to reduce energy consumption can improve monitoring and control functions resulting in a better process outcomes.
  • A collection of information on energy efficiency in agriculture can be found on this page.
informational page ag wiring code
Informational Page:Ag Wiring Code
  • The MREC provides you with the latest information on
    • NEC code requirements for agricultural buildings.
    • Equipment that complies with NEC code for ag buildings
    • Requirements for interconnect between electrical distribution systems and distributed generation
      • Standby generators
      • Wind power
      • Anaerobic Digester / Generators
informational page anaerobic digestion and bio gas
Informational Page:Anaerobic Digestion and Bio-Gas
  • News and resources on
    • Anaerobic Digester Basics
    • Financial Assistance & Economics
    • Organizations that Support Anaerobic Digestion Endeavors
      • Wisconsin Biogas Development Group
    • Farmers\' Digester Experience
    • Anaerobic Digester Research
    • Uses for Biogas other than Electricity Production
informational page bio energy and bio products
Informational Page:Bio-Energy and Bio-Products
  • Materials such as wood, corn, and animal waste can be burned directly, or made into fuels or other value added products. 
    • The same corn crop can be made into ethanol and also yield distiller\'s grain for animal feed and a bio-based plastic container
  • This page will help you keep up with the bio-refining revolution with information on
    • Bio-power Sources & Technology
      • Corn Ethanol
      • BioDiesel
      • Bio-Electric Generation
    • Biochemical Sources & Technology
    • Links to Organizations that Support Bio-Refining Initiatives
informational page wind energy
Informational Page:Wind Energy
  • Wind energy is the fastest growing renewable energy source in the world
  • Many states will be relying on developing their wind resource to meet renewable energy portfolio standards.
  • This page will provide you with information on wind power applications and issues in the upper Midwest.
how you can get involved
How You Can Get Involved
  • Visit the Website

http://www.mrec.org

  • Get on the MREC Mailing List

Send an email to: [email protected]

  • Become an MREC Member

For Details: http://www.mrec.org/about.html

  • Attend the MREC Conferences

Check web site for upcoming events

http://www.mrec.org

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