Cardinal Power Plant

Co-op employee at drive-thru

COVID rules

AJ Atkinson arrives to work at Carroll Electric Cooperative in Carrollton the same as he has every day since he was hired as the co-op’s manager of marketing and member services — but it’s different lately. 

At Carroll Electric, that meant a new office schedule that included a rotation of staff members working remotely so that those in the office would be able to maintain plenty of distance. While the full staff has now returned to a normal five-day on-site week, all are expected to wear masks when on the grounds, and office hours have been reduced to try to further limit close contact through the day.

Man working at Cardinal Power Plant


Most of us are returning to nearly normal following months of lockdown. I’m thankful that Ohio has seen less severe health impacts than many parts of the country, but we’ve all seen tragic loss of life, a painful economic shutdown, and strained relations in urban communities across the country. This has been a difficult year for many.

I’m pleased to acknowledge with gratitude the many essential workers, who, through all of the chaos of the past few months, have continued to work every day to assure that we have the essentials of modern life.

Cardinal Plant Manager Bethany Schunn and Sustainability Lead Julie Jones smile together for a picture.

Fulfilling our mission

Part of the process of removing sulfur dioxide (SO2) from emissions at the Cardinal Power Plant involves the use of limestone. The process is complicated and can be messy, and when heavy deposits build up in the scrubber, the entire generating unit must come offline.

An employee at the plant suggested adding a chemical to the process that not only would allow for less limestone to be used, it would reduce those deposits in the scrubber — meaning lower maintenance time and cost.

A landscape shot of Cardinal Power Plant

Taking Charge of Cardinal

Fifty years ago, when two generating units at Cardinal Power Plant were first placed into operation, Buckeye Power was a newly minted generation cooperative, formed and owned by all of the electric distribution cooperatives in Ohio. American Electric Power (AEP), which built the Cardinal plant, offered a unique partnership agreement to Buckeye Power and its member cooperatives: AEP and Buckeye Power would each own one of the two units, and AEP would operate the plant — at cost — for its partner.

Back to school

Schools around the state are back in session, and your electric cooperative has some educational opportunities coming up as well. One of the cooperative principles that guides the actions of your co-op is Education, Training, and Information. Our national association explains the principle’s importance this way: “Education and training for members, elected representatives (directors/trustees), and employees helps them to effectively contribute to the development of their cooperatives.

Students smile for a picture in front of the Cardinal Station

Be E3 Smart: Energy, Efficiency, Education

Take a dash of youthful curiosity, combine it with inspired teachers, and add a free curriculum, and that’s a winning formula for the Be E3 Smart program.

The E’s stand for energy, efficiency, and education, and the program’s goal is to help middle school teachers help their students understand the power of energy. It comes with the teacher’s curriculum from the Ohio Energy Project, a nonprofit based in Worthington, as well as energy efficiency items for students to use at home thanks to sponsorship support from 23 electric cooperatives serving Ohio.

A hand flips on a light switch.

Where do you get your power?

Who among us, when we flip a light switch or turn on a fan, gives a second thought (or even a first thought) to where the electricity comes from to light the bulb or cool the room? Part of our job at Ohio’s electric cooperatives is to make it easy for you to take this miracle of science and engineering for granted. In this month’s issue, Ohio Cooperative Living pulls back the curtain and gives you a peek at how we make sure that power is literally at your fingertips anytime you want it.