In 1942, the Delaware County Electric Cooperative was established in Delhi as a means for permitting farmers to serve electricity to themselves. Wayne Marshfield began working with the DCEC in 1967.
“Everything was done manually,” recalled Marshfield. “Paperwork and pole hole digging were done by hand.”
While machinery and computers worked their way into the industry, Marshfield worked his way through the ranks, learning how a cooperative functions. Marshfield has been a bookkeeper, stock clerk and meter technician. In 1992, he was appointed to his present position of assistant general manager.
Over the years, Marshfield has attended classes relating to the utility industry and electric distribution. He developed an elaborately detailed map to track all meter locations, poles, lines, reclosers, fuses and substations. The map has served as a model for other cooperatives and has since been advanced into an electronic format.
When asked about the future, Marshfield doesn’t shy away from further innovation.
“There will be less wire and fewer poles,” said Marshfield. “I don’t know exactly yet how, maybe fuel cells run on hydrogen, but technology will allow for more remote service. Wireless technology and underground materials are common for cities and suburbia. However, the lower-populated areas of the nation require a much higher investment per mile to supply the electrical demand.”