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NHU's Power Supplier Adds Members

New Holstein's power supplier, Wisconsin Public Power Inc. (WPPI), recently welcomed the communities of Independence, Iowa and Negaunee, Michigan as its newest members. With authorization from the Board of Directors, WPPI's Executive Committee unanimously approved long-term power supply contracts with Independence and Negaunee.

Under Wisconsin law, only municipal utilities from within the state are allowed to be owners of WPPI. Out-of-state communities such as Independence and Negauneee can be served through long-term power supply contracts with WPPI. WPPI began serving both communities on May 1, 2006.

John Skurupey, NHU's General Manager, says that all communities served by WPPI, including New Holstein, will benefit from the growth in membership. "There is strength is numbers," said Skurupey. "In an increasingly complex and expensive wholesale electric market, membership in WPPI allows us to pool our load with 41 other utilities to achieve a greater market presence."

Located 60 miles west of Dubuque in northeast Iowa, Independence serves more than 2,900 residential and commercial customers and has a 13-megawatt (MW) load. In additon to the long-term power supply contract, an agreement also was approved for the purchase of 19.5 MW of diesel-generation power owned by Independence.

Negaunee, located just west of Marquette in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, has a 4.8 MW load and serves more than 2,200 residential and commercial customers.

WPPI President and CEO Roy Thilly said he is pleased to welcome these communities as new members. He expects that in the future, WPPI's membership will continue to grow. "WPPI is experiencing increased interest in membership form a number of unaffiliated municipal utilities," Thilly said. He explained that growth benefits all WPPI members by increasing load diversity and achieving greater economies of scale in the acquisition of new resources.

"As the industry becomes more complex than ever before, we believe that the municipally owned utilities of WPPI are well-positioned to serve their communities as only locally owned utilities can." Thilly added.

New Holstein is a part-owner of WPPI, a Sun Prairie-based power company serving 42 municipalities that operate electric utilities. These community-owned utilities supply power to more than 159,000 customers in Wisconsin, Iowa and Michigan.