Month: December 2016

PSC Approves Big Rivers Power Supply Contract With KyMEA

Big Rivers Electric Corporation announced the Kentucky Public Service Commission’s (PSC) approval of a ten-year power supply contract with the Kentucky Municipal Energy Agency (KyMEA). Under the agreement signed earlier this year, Big Rivers will provide 100 megawatts (MW) beginning in June of 2019. The supply could also be expanded by an additional 50 MW later in the contract term.

In the order, the PSC stated that “revenues from the proposed agreement should generate margins that would defray fixed costs that would otherwise be shouldered by Big Rivers’ native load customers.”

Native load customers would be the more than 115,000 homes, businesses, and farms served by Big Rivers’ three Member-Owners: Jackson Purchase Energy Corp, Kenergy Corporation, and Meade County Rural Electric Cooperative Corporation.

“We’re excited to finalize an agreement that benefits Big Rivers, our Member-Owners, and the KyMEA,” said Big Rivers President and CEO Bob Berry. “It’s another positive step toward locating long-term buyers for our surplus power, and our low costs and high reliability made us favorable during the KyMEA selection process. This contract will help stabilize power prices and ensure competitive rates for members of Kenergy, Jackson Purchase Energy Corporation and Meade County RECC.”

KyMEA is an Inter-local Cooperation Agency representing city-owned utilities in Kentucky that terminated their long-term power supply arrangements with Kentucky Utilities Company or other Kentucky municipally-owned electric utilities.  Members of this KyMEA contract include the cities of Barbourville, Bardwell, Benham, Corbin, Falmouth, Frankfort, Madisonville, Paris, and Providence. While Owensboro Municipal Utilities (OMU) is also a KyMEA member, OMU will not initially be an all-requirements participant and will not be a recipient of any of the capacity and energy provided under the Big Rivers contract.

In addition to the agreements with Big Rivers, the KyMEA entered into power supply contracts with the Illinois Power Marketing Company, a subsidiary of Dynegy, and the Electric Plant Board of the City of Paducah.

Big Rivers Electric Corporation is an electric generation and transmission cooperative headquartered in Henderson, Kentucky and owned by three distribution cooperative members—Jackson Purchase Energy Corporation, headquartered in Paducah; Kenergy Corp, headquartered in Henderson; and Meade County Rural Electric Cooperative Corporation, headquartered in Brandenburg. These member cooperatives deliver retail electric power and energy to more than 115,000 residential, commercial, and industrial customers in portions of 22 western Kentucky counties.


Jennifer Keach Stephanie McCombs
Director Communications and Community Relations Communications Specialist sends e-mail) sends e-mail)
(270) 844-6153 – office (270) 844-6116

Co-Ops Plan To Offer Licenses For Panels At 60-Acre Solar Farm In Clark County

Starting in 2017, electric cooperative members will be able to license solar panels for their home or business from a solar farm located in Clark County, Ky.

Next spring, East Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC) will begin installing 32,300 solar panels on 60 acres of the property at its headquarters facility, adjacent to Interstate 64 east of Lexington. The solar farm, one of the largest in Kentucky, is expected to begin generating electricity later in 2017.

EKPC and its 16 owner-member electric cooperatives, known collectively as Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives, plan to license solar panels to co-op members, who will receive credit on their electric bills for their share of energy produced. The arrangement is known as Cooperative Solar.

With a one-time payment of $460 per panel, participants will receive the benefits of renewable energy for the next 25 years without having to install or maintain facilities on their own property. Their monthly electric bills will be credited for the value of the energy and capacity associated with their licensed share of the solar farm.

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“For electric co-op members who are interested in harnessing renewable energy for their home or business, Cooperative Solar is the easy, affordable option,” said Anthony “Tony” Campbell, EKPC’s president and CEO. Installing and maintaining a large number of panels in one location helps keep costs below that of most private solar installations.

Campbell noted that co-op members have requested such an option. In addition, the solar facility will help EKPC diversify its generating sources, which is a strategic goal of the cooperative.

Before EKPC’s 16 owner-member cooperatives can sell Cooperative Solar licenses, the Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) must approve tariffs under which the transactions can take place. It is expected the co-ops will begin selling 25-year licenses in the next several months.

Development of the solar farm project was approved last week by the PSC. Construction of the solar farm is estimated to cost $17.7 million. EKPC plans to finance the project by issuing New Clean Renewable Energy Bonds to take advantage of federal incentives that can offset much of the interest expense.

EKPC’s 16 owner-member electric cooperatives are:
·         Big Sandy RECC, Paintsville, Ky.
·         Blue Grass Energy, Nicholasville, Ky.
·         Clark Energy Cooperative, Winchester, Ky.
·         Cumberland Valley Electric, Gray, Ky.
·         Farmers RECC, Glasgow, Ky.
·         Fleming-Mason Energy, Flemingsburg, Ky.
·         Grayson RECC, Grayson, Ky.
·         Inter-County Energy Cooperative, Danville, Ky.
·         Jackson Energy Cooperative, McKee, Ky.
·         Licking Valley RECC, West Liberty, Ky.
·         Nolin RECC, Elizabethtown, Ky.
·         Owen Electric Cooperative, Owenton, Ky.
·         Salt River Electric, Bardstown, Ky.
·         Shelby Energy Cooperative, Shelbyville, Ky.
·         South Kentucky RECC, Somerset Ky.
·         Taylor County RECC, Campbellsville, Ky.

2017 WIRE Scholarships

Since 1989, the Kentucky Chapter of Women in Rural Electrification (WIRE) has offered college scholarships to Kentucky college students to help them finish their degree. WIRE is now taking 2017 applications for three $1,000 scholarships.​

WIRE scholarships are open to any eligible student whose family is served by a Kentucky electric cooperative and has at least 60 hours of credit at a Kentucky college or university by the start of the fall term. (Electric cooperative employees, directors, managers, and their relatives, and those of Big Rivers Electric Corporation, East Kentucky Power Cooperative, and the Kentucky Association of Electric Cooperatives, are not eligible.)

One of 2016’s recipients, Spencer Bolton, says his WIRE scholarship was especially appreciated since this scholarship benefits rural people. “I’m from London, Kentucky,” says Spencer, “and it’s great this scholarship is directed toward rural communities to help those pursue an education.”

Spencer heard about the WIRE scholarships at Sullivan University where he is pursuing a dual degree by completing an MBA program as well as a graduate/doctorate program in the College of Pharmacy. Spencer wants to hopefully become more of a clinical pharmacist in a hospital and go back to an underserved rural area that could use more health care professionals. His family is a member of Jackson Energy electric cooperative.

WIRE is an organization of women associated with Kentucky electric cooperatives. Members are wives of cooperative managers, board members, employees, employees themselves, and other women associated with electric co-ops in Kentucky. A yearly fundraising event is held in November with all proceeds going to the WIRE college scholarship program. Over the past 27 years, WIRE has given more than $94,000 in Kentucky college scholarships.

The deadline for submitting a WIRE college scholarship application is June 9, 2017.

Please return applications to Mary Beth Dennis, KAEC, P.O. Box 32170, Louisville, KY 40232