Where technology brought us 

Cannon Precision Manufacturing
PO Box 289
4th and Washington St
Keithsburg, IL 61442

Associated Environmental Management Services Inc
PO Box 586
1701 13 St
Viola, IL 61486

Edward Jones
1632 5th Avenue
Moline, IL 61265

Downtown Davenport Association
102 S. Harrison St.
Davenport, IA 52801

Donald J. McNeil, D.D.S.
1030 41st Street
Moline, IL 61265

Valley Dental Center
Dr. Margarida R. Laub
Route 6, Coal Valley, IL

Sylvan Learning Center
1035 Lincoln Road
Bettendorf, IA

Alleman Development Office
1103 40 St
Rock Island, IL 61201

American Bank of Rock Island
3730 18 Ave
Rock Island, IL 61201

The Bar and Stool Shoppe
842 18 Ave
Moline, IL 61265

Hodgson Funeral Home
608 20 St
Rock Island, IL 61201

Hughes Tire & Battery
120 E 1 Ave
Milan, IL 61264

IH Missiissippi Valley Credit Union
4206 5th Ave
Rock Island, IL 61201

Illini Hospital
801 Hospital Rd
Silvis, IL 61282

Jerry's Market
1609 17 St
Moline, IL 61265

L & W Bedding
1211 16 Ave
Moline, IL 61265

We take electricty for granted

By Kristophere' Owens, Dispatch/Argus Staff writer

In the old days, electricity was generated in small plants like this -- People's Power Co. of Moline, circa 1900.

These days some of our electricity comes from nuclear-generated power, such as from the Quad Cities Nuclear Generating Station in Cordova.

It's an electric world, and we're just living in it.

From the alarm clock that wakes us every morning to the street lamps that guide us in our travels, electricity has become a very important resource in a very short amount of time.

Discovered in the late 1600s, electricity has developed from a theory to a reality powering much of our modern world. With communities and industries depending on it for day-to-day operations, it has proven to be a necessity in modern life.

Time and time again, power outages have demonstrated what life would be like without that current. The winds and storms that rip through the Quad-Cities each year can kill and damage property, but their ability to down precious power lines -- and cripple our lives -- is equally dangerous.

The loss of power sends modern society into a semi-Stone Age, making us use candles to replace the electric lights we take for granted and read books to replace the instant entertainment found on television.

Our society is now ``plugable,'' as evidenced by the many gadgets in our homes and offices. The increase of the ``toys'' we have also contributes to our growing consumption of electricity -- a trend that is most likely to continue, according to area power agencies.

``It's steadily gone up because of the more items people use,'' said James Fox, a spokesman for Commonwealth Edison's Quad Cities Nuclear Generating Station.

With its two units, Mr. Fox said the Cordova station provides power for approximately 945,000 people. Generating 1,650 megawatts -- 16.5 million watts yearly -- ComEd has enough energy for its ``gateway'' communities of Fulton, Erie, Morrison, Prophetstown, Dixon, Sterling-Rock Falls and others.

``We crank out a lot of electricity,'' Mr. Fox said.

Most of ComEd's power from the nuclear facility goes to Whiteside County, said Mr. Fox. Power distribution in the Quad-Cities belongs solely to MidAmerican Energy, a 25 percent owner in the Cordova plant.

According to MidAmerician spokesman Jeff Ashcraft, the Quad-Cities use of electricity has risen, but not significantly.

In 1997 the Davenport-based company serviced 130,995 residential customers in the area -- who used 956,250,481 kilowatt hours a year. MidAmerican saw its customer base rise slightly to 132,165 in 1998. However, energy use at the time was over one billion -- 1,029,005,234 kilowatt hours for that year.

But don't let those numbers fool you, said Mr. Ashcraft.

``When you get billions and billions of anything, does it sound impressive? Yes,'' he said. ``Did it really go up? Not really.''

With generating stations near Riverdale and Muscatine, the Quad-Cities is the base of MidAmerican's service throughout Iowa.

Mercer and Henry counties are serviced by Decatur-based Illinois Power.

As the Quad-Cities approaches 2000, companies are preparing for the largest storm of the century -- the Y2K millennium computer bug. With electricity powering everything from the computers we depend on to store information to the ATMs that store money, the new millennium could possibly put all activity to a grinding halt.

``We've been getting a lot of calls from people concerned the lights will go out at midnight, Dec. 31, telephone systems will collapse and we'll go back to the Stone Age,'' Illinois' Citizens Utility Board member Marty Cohen said in December. ``That, of course, is not going to happen. While there may be some problems, dramatic, widespread outages are very unlikely.''

Reiterating those statements, area power companies say are working to solve that problem so Jan. 1, 2000 doesn't translate to a flashing 12:00 on our alarm clocks.

Copyright 1999, Moline Dispatch Publishing Co.