North Western Electric Cooperative (NWEC) is nestled in the northwestern corner of Ohio and serves all of Williams County and the northern part of Defiance County, also delivering power to parts of Paulding, Fulton, and Henry counties. Its headquarters is located just west of Bryan, 50 miles from Toledo and 55 miles from Fort Wayne, Indiana. Bryan is well known as the home of Spangler Candy Company, which makes the world-renowned Dum Dums lollipops, as well as Circus Peanuts and Spangler Candy Canes. Bryan is also home to Ohio Art Company, where the nostalgic Etch A Sketch is made.
A passion for community service
North Western Electric is heavily invested in the communities that it serves. Last year, NWEC returned more than $1 million in excess revenue to members. Community sponsorships stay local, injecting capital into events and organizations. The co-op, for example, is a presenting sponsor for both the Montpelier Bean Days Balloon Festival and Defiance County Hot Air Balloon Festival, where it awards two members a balloon ride they’ll never forget.
That investment, in turn, helps the community in other ways. The Defiance County Hot Air Balloon Festival serves as a fundraiser for the United Way’s Community Engagement Center, which invested an estimated $20,700 into the community during its second year, through volunteerism from 35 different agencies.
North Western Electric maintains and operates 1,076 miles of line that serve 5,935 metered accounts. It has a diverse workforce with 18 employees and seven trustees. While the area is mainly residential, the co-op also serves several large agricultural operations. Hillandale Farms, one of the nation’s leading suppliers of shell eggs to retailers and distributors, produces 3.2 million eggs per day from its 4 million hens.
Other top accounts in NWEC territory include two school systems; Altenloh, Brinck & Co. U.S., which manufactures fasteners for the construction market; and the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio. Bridgewater Dairy, another major account, also houses an anaerobic biodigester that produces up to 1.2 MW of electricity for Ohio’s electric cooperatives from the methane gas produced by cow manure.