EKPC Leaders Mark Co-Op’s 75th Anniversary With Reflections On Achievements, Challenges

During today’s annual meeting, the leaders of East Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC) marked the co-op’s 75th year of improving the lives of Kentuckians by providing safe, affordable, reliable electricity.

“Our founding principles still guide us to work together to improve lives,” said Anthony “Tony” Campbell, EKPC’s president and CEO. “By being faithful to our mission and by looking for opportunities, we have a bright future ahead.”

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin was the featured speaker during the event at the co-op’s headquarters in Winchester.

“So often we take for granted simple luxuries like flipping on a light switch,” said Gov. Bevin. “So many great efforts are made every day behind the scenes by hard-working Kentuckians. I want to thank all the electric cooperatives for everything they do to provide reliable affordable electricity for rural Kentucky.”

Paul Hawkins, EKPC’s board chairman, noted EKPC has faced critical challenges in the past decade. But, he said, the co-op’s leaders have worked hard over the past five years to improve the overall health of the organization.

“Together with our CEO, executive staff and employees, we applied patience and old-fashioned elbow grease to restore EKPC as one of the biggest and strongest generation and transmission cooperatives in America,” he said.

Campbell noted several key milestones from the past year, including the purchase of Bluegrass Generating Station in Oldham County and the successful achievement of 15 percent equity-to-assets ratio, which was a key objective of the co-op’s strategic plan since 2011.

In the past year, Standard & Poor’s Rating Service affirmed EKPC’s credit rating of A- with a stable outlook, while Fitch Ratings affirmed a BBB+ rating with a positive outlook.

On the horizon, federal regulations pose a challenge, as coal-dependent generators like EKPC comply with rules to limit carbon dioxide emissions and more-tightly regulate coal ash disposal and water impacts.

Meanwhile, the co-op is preparing to request regulatory approvals to establish a utility-scale solar generating plant.

“Be assured, we will find the path that results in the least cost and most reliable service to our members,” Campbell said.

Hawkins, who is stepping down as board chairman, was honored for his work during the five years he has served in the role.

Joe Spalding, who represents Inter-County Energy, was elected today by the board to serve as EKPC’s board chairman for the next year.

East Kentucky Power Cooperative is a not-for-profit, member-owned cooperative providing wholesale electricity to 16 owner-member distribution cooperatives that serve 530,000 Kentucky homes, farms, businesses and industries across 87 counties. EKPC provides power through coal-fueled plants located in Mason and Pulaski counties; natural gas-fueled peaking units in Clark and Oldham counties; renewable energy plants in Barren, Boone, Laurel, Greenup, Hardin and Pendleton counties; and more than 2,800 miles of transmission lines. Together, EKPC and its 16 owner-member cooperatives are known as Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives. Visit EKPC at www.ekpc.coop.