When Riverland Energy Cooperative asked for assistance following a winter storm that caused widespread outages throughout their service territory in Buffalo, Trempealeau and La Crosse Counties, three St. Croix Electric Cooperative lineworkers answered: In the early morning hours of Friday, Dec. 17, Journeyman David Kaczmarski (center) and Apprentices Austin DeLong (left) and Kyle Levra (right) packed up, said goodbye to their families and headed out – not returning until late that night.
At the time SCEC’s crew arrived, Riverland reported having every single member of their line crew out working on the system, which at its peak had 6,000 members without power. By 10 p.m. that night all power had been restored.
The call that Dave, Austin and Kyle answered was ROPE – Restoration Of Power in an Emergency. ROPE is a program coordinated by Dairyland Power Cooperative, our G&T (generation and transmission cooperative) to provide and receive assistance between the electric cooperatives in Wisconsin and neighboring states.
ROPE is a prime example of Cooperative Principle #6: Cooperation Among Cooperatives.
When a major storm rolls through a cooperative’s service territory and causes extensive damage to its distribution system, that co-op can call Dairyland Power and activate ROPE. Dairyland Power then goes to work to find crews from other cooperatives unaffected by the storm to help restore power to the affected cooperative’s system.