November 05, 2021

History Project Earns National Recognition


The roots of public power run deep in the communities that make up WPPI Energy, and a recent effort to document this tradition has earned top national honors.

WPPI Energy this year published “Forty & Forward: A Visual History of WPPI Energy,” which won an Award of Excellence during the American Public Power Association’s Customer Connections Conference on October 27. The book commemorates WPPI’s recent fortieth anniversary and honors the longstanding dedication of its 51 member utilities—many of which have served their communities for over one hundred years.

“Local, not-for-profit utilities deliver exceptional value in the form of safe, highly reliable and affordable electric service as well as a strong focus on supporting customers and the community,” says WPPI Director of Communications Anne Rodriguez. “‘Forty and Forward’ honors those public power utilities who forty years ago had the foresight to create WPPI so they could share resources to help preserve that local value for the long term.”

Working together over the past four decades, WPPI members have built a reliable, affordable, responsible wholesale power supply; forward-thinking services and shared technologies; and an effective voice for energy policy advocacy. Together, the membership serves more than 200,000 homes and businesses in Wisconsin, Upper Michigan and Iowa.

Published both online and in print, the 100-page, image-intensive “Forty & Forward” volume details the early years when the municipally owned utilities were established in the region, documents the industry changes and challenges that led to WPPI’s formation, and looks ahead to the ways in which working together with likeminded communities will continue helping WPPI members to thrive.

“Our membership’s past accomplishments only begin to represent all the good that 51 like-minded communities can continue to achieve working together for a common purpose,” said Rodriguez. “Thanks to their shared vision, we are ready for the next forty years and more.”

APPA, a national association representing the more than 2,000 public power utilities across the United States, judged the entries in the Excellence in Public Power Communications Award program for ingenuity and creativity, outstanding copy, and design. WPPI was one of 38 organizations honored, and one of just six earning the top-level Award of Excellence in the print and digital category.


Photo: Anne Rodriguez (left), director of communications for WPPI Energy, receives the Excellence in Public Power Communications Awards on behalf of WPPI. The award is presented by Patrice Townsend, utility services department director for Kansas City Board of Public Utilities and chair of the American Public Power Association’s Customer Connections Conference public communications section.