Photo: Tom Harrell, CEO of Alger Delta Cooperative Electric Association (center) stands with WPPI Energy CEO Mike Peters (left) and WPPI Energy Board Chair Jeff Feldt (right)
Alger Delta Cooperative Electric Association, the area’s non-profit electric co-op, attended the WPPI Energy Annual Meeting on September 19, 2019. WPPI Energy is the cooperative’s not-for-profit regional power provider.
With over 50 utility organizations present, Tom Harrell, CEO of Alger Delta, received the WPPI Energy Community Service Award. The award recognizes individuals who demonstrate value through their active participation in the community and commitment to volunteerism.
According to Darryl Small, Alger Delta Board Director for District 1, “Alger Delta’s financial position has changed dramatically since Tom first started as the cooperative’s leader. In 2004 and 2005, Alger Delta had back-to-back losses and a poor financial position. Tom started in 2006 and slowly started making changes to turn around the utility’s finances within a couple years. Alger Delta has had a strong financial position ever since.”
Small continued, “In 2014, Alger Delta paid capital credits back to members for the first time in over 50 years, and quite possibly the first time in the cooperative’s history. Much of this can be attributed to Alger Delta joining WPPI Energy, becoming member regulated, implementing a much-needed rate increase, negotiating the Eagle Mine addition and Big Bay circuit rebuild contract, staffing upgrades and reductions, and improved labor contracts. Tom was the leading force behind each of these accomplishments. In addition to the improved financial position of the utility, Alger Delta members have benefited from improved system reliability under Tom's leadership.”
The Alger Delta Cooperative Electric Association was founded in 1937 and has since grown to serve about 10,000 members in six counties in the central Upper Peninsula.