Renewables became a key word in Associated Electric Cooperative’s generation resource mix during the millennial decade. Associated Electric was named “2006 Wind Co-op of the Year” for helping make Missouri’s first utility-scale wind farms a reality. New environmental regulations also permeated the decade. Associated Electric built with compliance in mind, spending more than $1.1 billion since 1994 to improve air quality.
2000, February - Selective catalytic reduction equipment, designed to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides by about 93 percent, on New Madrid Unit 2 becomes operational.
2002, January - Selective catalytic reduction equipment on New Madrid Unit 1 becomes operational, making New Madrid one of the cleanest coal-based plants in the country with cyclone burners.
2003, May 31 - Associated Electric’s contract ends with Noranda Aluminum. Noranda chooses not to renew its power supply contract with Associated Electric, ending a mutually beneficial relationship of more than 30 years.
2003, December - Associated Electric’s board of directors approves a rate plan after engaging in a yearlong process of informing and listening to member systems. The plan includes a wholesale power supply rate increase in 2006 – Associated’s first wholesale rate increase in 20 years – that will help the cooperative meet a projected $1.7 billion in capital costs for new generation and environmental controls on existing coal-based generation. More rate increases are projected.
2004, December - Associated Electric completes mine amortization of $342 million in costs 11 years ahead of schedule – further strengthening the cooperative’s competitive position. Associated Electric closed its Missouri mine in 1993 and converted its coal-based units to burn low-sulfur coal in 1994. This conversion allowed the cooperative to reduce sulfur dioxide emissions and comply with the 1990 Amendments to the Clean Air Act.
2005, April 1 - Associated Electric announces it is proceeding with plans to build a coal-based generating plant to meet members’ growing energy needs. Carroll County is the proposed site, along with Holt County as an alternative location.
2005, Aug. 15 - Associated Electric purchases 580-megawatt, combined-cycle natural gas-based power plant in Dell, Ark., to meet members’ growing energy needs. Construction begins in spring 2006 to finish the plant, which is 65 percent complete. It begins commercial operation in 2007.
2006, January - In January, Associated Electric, Wind Capital Group and John Deere Wind Energy announce plans to construct Missouri’s first utility-scale wind farm: the 57-megawatt Bluegrass Ridge Wind Farm near King City. On the heels of this announcement, a second and third wind farm are announced in summer and fall 2006. Associated Electric’s integrated transmission system and its long-term agreement to buy all the power produced by the three wind farms help make the farms possible.
2006, June - Associated Electric begins construction of additional environmental controls at its Thomas Hill Energy Center. To be completed by Jan. 1, 2009, installation of selective catalytic reduction equipment on all three units enable a systemwide reduction of nitrogen oxides emissions of nearly 90 percent and compliance with Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR).
2007, March - Praised for its bold leadership in renewable energy development in Missouri, Associated Electric is awarded “2006 Wind Co-op of the Year” by the U.S. Department of Energy in partnership with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and Cooperative Research Network.
2007, May 2 - Associated Electric and its Thomas Hill Energy Center receive the 2007 Kenes C. Bowling National Mine Reclamation Award in the coal category for reclamation of the Bee Veer Mine in Macon County, Mo.
2007, Sept. 17 - About 475 member-owners, state and federal legislators and other officials attend dedication of Bluegrass Ridge Wind Farm, Missouri’s first utility-scale wind farm. The project is made possible due to Associated Electric’s agreement to purchase all power produced by the wind farm for the next 20 years, its interconnected transmisson system and its alliance with John Deere Wind Energy and Wind Capital Group.
2007, Sept. 20 - U.S. Department of Interior Office of Surface Mining presents its highest award to Associated Electric for its innovative reclamation of the Bee Veer Mine in Macon County, Mo.
2008, Feb. 29 - Associated Electric’s board of directors decides to delay indefinitely plans to build a 660-MW coal plant near Norborne, Mo., in Carroll County, citing increasing costs of building such a facility and the uncertainties about carbon regulations.
2008, February and March - Cow Branch and Conception wind farms in northwest Missouri begin producing power.
2008, March 7 - Associated Electric’s “Take Control and Save” energy efficiency program debuts. The program builds on distribution cooperatives’ longtime energy efficiency efforts.
2008, March 20 - Associated Electric’s Dell Power Plant is dedicated. The 580-MW facility is a low-emissions, efficient combined-cycle gas plant used to meet members systems’ growing energy needs.
2008, December - Associated Electric completes $424 million construction project that includes installing selective catalytic reduction equipment on all three units at Thomas Hill Energy Center, enabling a 90 percent systemwide reduction of nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions, by the Jan. 1, 2009, Clean Air Interstate Rule deadline.
2009, April 16 - Associated Electric and Wind Capital Group announce the fourth and largest wind farm in Missouri: the 150-megawatt Lost Creek project in DeKalb County. Vice President Joe Biden announces the wind farm during a visit to Jefferson City to promote the administration’s stimulus plan. Again, Associated Electric helps make the project possible by providing transmission and long-term power purchase agreement.
2009, June - Associated Electric honors retiring board president O.B. Clark for his distinguished service on its board from 1974 to 2009 and as Associated Electric’s longest-serving president, from June 1981 to June 2009.