Watts News
 Published for the members of North 7Itasca Electric Cooperative
VOL. 24 NO. 7  -  July 2020

CEO Report


I found out my young daughters and I have a little difference in opinion of what should be in the emergency kit! I also noticed I'm missing several items I used to have, I'm guessing they might be found in the girls' kit. As it turns out, if there is ever an emergency at the Dolinski household we will be eating snacks from Little Debbie, thank you Jadyn (7 years old). All joking aside, being prepared in case of emergency is something we should focus on.

Safety is my highest priority at North Itasca! Please use caution when you use a generator. Any generator could harm or kill someone if you do not hook it up properly. Generators can back feed through the transformer at your property and energize the powerlines to 7200 volts. This is the reason it is always best to have a transfer switch to operate a generator safely.

The transfer switch isolates your service from North Itasca, this provides peace of mind knowing you are protecting others from harm. Beyond the transfer switch, make sure you are running the generator in a well-ventilated area. Keep the generator far enough from your house so the exhaust cannot get into the building. If you have any generator questions, do not hesitate to give us a call in the office.

If you have been past our pole yard south of Bigfork lately, you have seen the solar panels laying on the ground. The snow-load was too much for the racking system to handle. North Itasca Electric was informed years ago not to touch those panels. I was informed we could damage the panels trying to get snow off them. 20 kW of the solar panels are leased by Great River Energy. North Itasca Electric requested GRE to lease additional panels on our behalf to offer community solar to our members. We were able to ensure those community panels remained for North Itasca Electric Member-Owners that purchased the rights to the output. The panels that collapsed will not be replaced at this time.

I have had several questions about what is going on South of Bigfork on Scenic 7. Great River Energy has begun construction on the transmission line that will feed our new Scenic Substation. Many hours of hard work have resulted in the project coming to fruition. I want to thank our Member-Owners that allowed this project to cross their land; this project is vital for the reliability of our system. Thank you to the employees of Great River Energy, this was not an easy project to get permitted. Thank you to all our contractors that will clear the right-of-way, construct the lines, and energize the substation that has been so badly needed. Hats off to a hard-working team looking out for the member-owners of North Itasca Electric.

Next week I will be meeting with the Board of Directors for our June meeting. Normally we would have had our Annual Meeting this week. This marks our 80th year as North Itasca Electric Cooperative, Inc. I was planning quite an event to celebrate the hard work and dedication that makes your cooperative special. Because of the virus, we had to postpone these events. I do not know yet what the Annual Meeting will look like. I can only assume it will not be the event I had originally planned. That is ok; I’m sure there have been tougher hills to climb than this. We just want to ensure everyone remains safe and healthy. Thank you so much for your support and understanding during these trying times.

By your side, and Miigweech