Electric co-ops buy power from Missouri’s first utility-scale wind farms
The Bluegrass Ridge Wind Farm began producing wind power in spring 2007.
Praised for voluntarily becoming a leader and partner in renewable
energy, Associated Electric Cooperative Inc. helped bring the first utility-scale wind farms to Missouri.
Associated increased its renewable wind energy portfolio in 2011, again showing its leadership and commitment to alternative generation resources and low-cost power for members.
Associated signed two long-term wind power purchase agreements, contracting for 300 megawatts from BP Wind Energy's Flat Ridge 2 farm under construction in south-central Kansas and for 150 MW from Wind Capital Group's Osage County wind farm being developed in northeast Oklahoma.
When the farms are complete, Associated's wind resources will increase from 300 megawatts to 750 MW.
AECI leads in Missouri wind energy
AECI’s commitment to buy all the power from four wind farms in northwest Missouri for 20 years and the
cooperatives’ vast transmission system made the wind farms possible.
Announced in 2006, three 50-megawatt wind facilities were developed
and built in northwest Missouri by Wind Capital Group and John Deere Wind
Energy. The Bluegrass Ridge Wind Farm began producing energy for rural electric cooperatives in spring 2007,
while Cow Branch and Conception wind farms began operating in early 2008. Construction on the Lost Creek Wind
Farm began in 2009 and was completed in early 2010.
Renewable wind power is part of AECI's diverse portfolio of generation and transmission resources to meet member
cooperatives' growing energy needs.
"Associated Electric Cooperative is committed to providing
affordable, renewable energy options to our members," said Jim Jura, CEO and
general manager of AECI. "We are particularly pleased that the wind energy we
are purchasing is harvested in our service area and that this investment will
be staying here in our own communities. Adding wind turbines to the coal,
natural gas, oil, hydropower and biomass generating resources we already use
will help us improve our ability to fulfill our mission of providing reliable,
low-cost electricity to rural electric cooperative members."
Workers maneuver one of the 15,000-pound fiberglass blades to connect it to the
hub of a wind turbine at the Bluegrass Ridge Wind Farm. Photograph by Bob
McEowen, Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives.
The Bluegrass Ridge Wind Farm is located near King City, Mo., in Gentry
County. Cow Branch Wind Farm is near Tarkio, Mo., in Atchison County, and the third farm is near Conception, Mo., in Nodaway
Associated connected the fourth, and
Missouri’s largest, wind farm in 2010 to its transmission
system and will buy all the power produced by the
150-MW Lost Creek Wind Farm in DeKalb County, Missouri. The farm began generating power in early 2010.
The four Missouri wind farms are expected to produce the amount of energy used by about 55,000 member households, when considering the
nature of wind power and the varying ways members use electricity. Because wind is intermittent, Associated supplements it with
fuel-based generation to ensure reliable electricity for members.