Twelve Kansas electric cooperatives partner to develop sun farms across 800 miles of the Sunflower State with Today’s Power, Inc.

 

Kansas Electric Cooperatives join forces to provide rate stability with solar power

Kansas, Nov.17, 2020 (Solar Business Hub) — Using the sixth cooperative principle of cooperation among cooperatives, twelve cooperatives in Kansas are joining together to make a small investment for the next 25 years or more in the harvesting of sunshine.

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Mike Morton (Bluestem Electric), Ben Whiteside (Butler Electric), Mark Scheibe (Heartland Electric), Scott Ayres (Sedgwick County Electric), Tim Powers (DSO Electric), Michael Henderson (Today’s Power, Inc.), Dennis Svanes (4 Rivers Electric), Jackie Holmberg (Ark Valley Electric Cooperative), Angie Erickson (Twin Valley Electric), Teresa Miller (Ninnescah Electric), Steve Foss (FreeState Electric Cooperative) – NOT PICTURED: Dale Short (Butler Electric), Coni Adams (Sumner-Cowley Electric), Kirk Thompson (CMS Electric).

Participating electric cooperatives will be able to procure low-up-front cost solar energy to serve their membership through the Kansas Cooperative Sun Power Program and reduce their peak demand.

Under their unique cooperative programming, the Kansas Cooperative Sun Power Program is a series of solar farms developed by Today’s Power, Inc. (TPI)’s to harvest renewable energy in the state for participating electric cooperatives. This 25-year program has attracted the best possible long-term pricing and will result in the construction of more than 20 Megawatts (MW) of solar power spread out across more than 800 miles of the sunflower state.

Project location map.

This opportunity began when the wholesale power contract between all participating cooperatives and their G&T, Kansas Electric Power Cooperatives, was recently modified to provide Kansas electric cooperatives with the ability to self-procure up to 15% of peak demand, with 5% of that amount specifically allowing for the addition of solar.

Proving that utility scale solar provides more cost-effective ways to benefit all consumer-member of the cooperatives, TPI was chosen to be the developer and energy partner for this venture through extensive research undertaken by participating cooperatives and a comprehensive Request For Proposals (RFP) process administered by GDS & Associates.

Owned by Electric Cooperatives, TPI was created to provide solar facilities to Arkansas’ electric cooperatives that could otherwise not utilize federal tax incentives. Fellow cooperatives in neighboring states quickly learned of TPI’s program and wanted a “known business partner” to provide their solar system.

TPI has constructed solar arrays for 15 of the 17 electric cooperatives of Arkansas as well as cooperatives and cooperative organizations in Oklahoma and Tennessee.

All systems installed will be sized in the 1 MW range. Each system is contracted through a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement with additional 5-year options. Cooperatives will simply be responsible for the purchase of electricity generated from the solar farms and will have low-upfront costs associated with the development of renewable solar energy.

This method of generation makes it possible for these cooperatives to increase the production of renewable energy year round and to reduce peak demand. The reduction of peak demand will enable each cooperative to provide financial stability to its members while also reducing their carbon footprint. This is just another way electric cooperatives in Kansas are helping support local businesses, industries, and individuals with the resources they need to grow as efficient, responsible, and successful contributors to our communities.

Currently, these projects are in the engineering process and construction will take place in phases beginning in 2021 and running to 2022. Individual projects for participating cooperatives will be announced as initiated and completed.

 

For more information:

Jennah Denney
Marketing & Public Relations Coordinator
(501) 400-5548 [email protected]

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ABOUT

Participating Cooperatives

4 Rivers Electric Cooperative, Inc. is a not-for-profit, member-owned electric cooperative. The company safely delivers reliable electricity to over 12,000 locations for over 7,000 residential and commercial consumers in Anderson, Chase, Coffey, Elk, Franklin, Greenwood, Labette, Linn, Lyon, Montgomery, Morris, Neosho, Osage, Wabaunsee, Wilson, and Woodson counties.

Contact: April D. Engstrom
(620) 364-2116 or [email protected]

 

Ark Valley Electric Cooperative Association, Inc. is a member-owned electric cooperative delivering energy and energy solutions for over 80 years. With its headquarters located in South Hutchinson, KS, Ark Valley Electric has approximately 2,100 miles of line and about 5,200 meters spanning throughout 9 counties in central Kansas.

Contact: Jackie Holmberg – General Manager
(620) 662-6661 or [email protected]

 

Bluestem Electric Cooperative is a nonprofit and member-owned electric cooperative providing safe and reliable electric energy, as efficiently and economically as possible, to 7,309 meters throughout 11 counties. Bluestem’s 2,866 miles of line serves Pottawatomie, Riley, Wabaunsee, Jackson, Clay, Washington, Cloud, Ottawa, Dickinson, Geary and Marshall counties.

Contact: Kevin Heptig – Member Services Director
(785) 456-2212 or [email protected]

 

Butler Electric Cooperative is owned by its members and governed by a Board of Directors elected from the membership by the members. The cooperative supplies electric power to 7,000 meters in Butler, Chase, Cowley, Greenwood, Harvey, Marion and Sedgwick counties through 1,850 miles of transmission and distribution lines and 13 substations /delivery points. Butler EC currently owns a 1MW solar farm in Butler County. For more information, visit www.butler.coop or our Facebook page.

Contact: Sarah Madden, Public Relations Director
(316) 321-9600 or [email protected]

 

CMS Electric Cooperative, Inc., was founded in April 1945 and energized its first lines in June 1948. Originally, CMS took its name from the three counties it was chartered to serve: Clark, Meade and Seward. However, soon Comanche County was also added to the service area. The service area covers approximately 4800 square miles with approximately 2500 miles of line. Today, the cooperative serves approximately 5800 meters, consisting of residential, small commercial, large power and industrial loads. Our main office is located in Meade, Kansas at 509 E. Carthage St, which is across the street from the Meade District Hospital on Highway 54. Our satellite office is located in Coldwater, Kansas at 603 N. Central.

Contact: Collen Bushnell
(620) 873-2184 or [email protected]

 

DS&O Electric Cooperative is an electric utility located in Solomon, Kansas. Today the Cooperative serves approximately 8,500 residential and commercial meters in some thirty communities spread throughout a nine-county area in Central Kansas. Its service area extends from Junction City to McPherson and from Glasco to Lost Springs. This area includes the City of Solomon and certain areas within the city limits of Junction City. The majority of residential customers continue to be found in Dickinson, Saline, and Ottawa counties. Significant numbers are also in Geary and McPherson counties.

Contact: Derrick Rutherford
(785) 655-2011 or [email protected]

 

With 15,368 members and 21,197 service points, FreeState Electric Cooperative is the largest rural electric cooperative in Eastern Kansas and the fifth largest rural electric cooperative in the state. FreeState serves nine Kansas counties and provides infrastructure to Fort Leavenworth. For more information visit www.freestate.coop, as well as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Contact: Sarah Farlee, Public Relations & Marketing Director
800-794-1989 or [email protected]

 

Heartland Rural Electric Cooperative provides power to more than 11,000 locations in Southeast and Eastern Kansas. Heartland’s service area includes consumer-members in 12 counties, including Allen, Anderson, Bourbon, Cherokee, Coffey, Crawford, Labette, Linn, Miami, Neosho, Wilson and Woodson counties. Heartland REC traces its roots back to three original rural electric cooperatives, Cooperative Electric Power & Light Company, Sugar Valley Electric Cooperative Association, (which came together to form United Electric Cooperative in 1975) and Sekan Electric Cooperative Association (which combined to become Heartland in 1996.)

Contact: Ron Graber, Director of Member Service & Communication
(620) 724-8251 or [email protected]

 

Formed in January 1939, Ninnescah Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc. has been providing dependable electric energy to its members for over 75 years. As a member-owned, full-service electric utility, Ninnescah powers over 4,000 meters in all or part of ten counties in South-Central Kansas, including the counties of Barber, Comanche, Edwards, Harper, Kingman, Kiowa, Pawnee, Pratt, Stafford, and Reno.

Contact: Teresa Miller – General Manager
(620) 672-5538 or [email protected]

 

On November 10, 1937, 21 men of Sedgwick County signed the Articles of Incorporation for a rural electric company. We now have 19 employees, over 6,900 services, over 5,900 members, approximately 1,175 miles of energized lines, 9 substations, and over 142 million kWh sold yearly.

Contact: Scott Ayres – General Manager/CEO
(316) 542-3131 or [email protected],
or Cindy Kill – Member Services Director  [email protected]

 

Sumner-Cowley Electric is a member-owned, member-focused electric distribution cooperative that strives to exceed our members’ expectations by providing safe, reliable, cost-effective electric power, superior customer service and innovative energy solutions. Sumner-Cowley Electric proudly serves 3,585 members with 1,790 miles of line in the rural communities of Sumner, Cowley, Harper, Sedgwick and Kingman counties.

Contact: Jared McIntire – Member Services
(620) 326-3356 or [email protected]

 

Owned and governed by the members it serves, Twin Valley Electric Cooperative, Inc. (TVEC) has been providing electricity in Southeast Kansas since 1945. With its service territory located between the Verdigris and Neosho river valleys, Twin Valley serves rural homes, farms, and businesses in Labette, Neosho, Montgomery, & Cherokee counties.

Contact: Angie Erickson – CEO
(620) 784-5500 or [email protected]

 

Developer

Today’s Power, Inc. (TPI) is one of the nation’s most experienced renewable energy companies with more utility-scale projects than any Arkansas-based company. A wholly owned subsidiary of Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc., TPI is a full-service provider able to carry out all phases of any solar or battery storage project including, but not limited to, full bill/rate analysis, site evaluation, engineering procurement, design, commissioning, monitoring, operating and maintaining projects.

Contact: Jennah Denney – Marketing & Public Relations Coordinator
(501) 400-5548 or [email protected]

 

 


Press provided by Today’s Power, Inc. Photo credit: © Today’s Power, Inc. 1-MW Sun Farm in Arkansas – Woodruff Electric Cooperative.