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Alternative energy

Wind and water work for members

Associated Electric has long used low-cost, renewable hydropower to serve members' electricity needs and added its first utility-scale wind farm in 2007 -- the first wind farm in Missouri -- to complement members' resources. The cooperative now contracts for more than 1,240 megawatts of wind energy, including two new wind farms that added 471.5 MW of Missouri wind energy in 2020. The Clear Creek project began commercial operations in May 2020, and the White Cloud project was declared commercial Dec. 10, 2020. 

Hydropower is longtime part of resource mix

Table Rock dam

Hydropower from federal dams in Missouri, Oklahoma and Arkansas is another major renewable resource Associated Electric uses to supply electricity to members. While hydropower is our cheapest resource, it is a limited commodity dependent on rainfall and the capacity of lakes and dams to store the water.

Co-ops pioneer wind energy in Missouri

Rural electric cooperatives have long been pioneers when it comes to bringing affordable electricity, and the quality of life it provides, to the people they serve. When it came to the frontier of wind energy in Missouri, rural electric cooperatives again helped open the way.

Today, Associated contracts for 1,240 MW of wind energy. 

Fifteen years ago there were no utility-scale wind farms in the state. That's when Associated Electric Cooperative stepped forward and signed a long-term agreement to buy all the power from Missouri’s first utility-scale wind farms. This commitment, as well as the strong high-voltage transmission system owned by Associated Electric and its members, brought wind power to Missouri.

Associated offers a green power program to member systems, who work with member-owners who want to renewable energy credits for all or part of their electricity.

Associated sells and does not retain or retire all of the environmental attributes of energy generated by its contracted wind facilities, including offering the renewable energy credits to members through its green power program. This brings in revenue that helps keep members' electricity affordable.

Bluegrass Ridge, the first utility-scale wind farm in Missouri, features 27 2.1-MW turbines and sits on 10,000 acres in Gentry County, Missouri. The contracted capacity is 50 megawatts, and the farm was declared commercially operational in 2007.

Conception wind farm features 24 2.1-MW turbines and sits on 7,000 acres in Nodaway County, Missouri. The contracted capacity is 50 megawatts. Conception was declared commercially operational in 2008.

Cow Branch wind farm features 24 2.1-megawatt turbines and sits on 7,000 acres in Atchison County, Missouri. The contracted capacity is 50 megawatts. Cow Branch was declared commercially operational in 2008.

Flat Ridge 2 wind farm features 194 1.6-megawatt turbines and sits on 66,000 acres in Barber, Harper, Kingman and Sumner counties in Kansas. The contracted capacity is 300 megawatts. Flat Ridge 2 was declared commercially operational in 2012.

Lost Creek wind farm features 100 1.5-megawatt turbines and sits on 20,000 acres in DeKalb County, Missouri. Lost Creek was declared commercially operational in 2010 at 150 MW capacity. Capacity increased to 168 MW through upgrades by Pattern Energy, which bought the wind farm in 2015. 

Osage wind farm features 94 1.6-megawatt turbines and sits on 8,500 acres in Osage County, Oklahoma. The contracted capacity is 150 megawatts. Osage was declared commercially operational in 2015.

The 235-megawatt Tenaska Clear Creek Energy Center was declared commercial May 4, 2020. Associated announced Feb. 13, 2018, its signing of a long-term power purchase agreement with Tenaska to buy the energy from the wind project near Maryville in Nodaway County, northwest Missouri. The farm has 111 Vestas turbines on some 30,000 acres.

Enel Green Power North America Inc., the Enel Group’s US-based renewable company, signed a power purchase agreement between its subsidiary White Cloud Wind Project LLC and Associated Electric Cooperative Inc., which is buying the entire output generated by the 236.5 MW White Cloud wind project in Nodaway County, Missouri. Enel started constructing the project mid-2019. By May 2020, all 89 turbines were erected, roads constructed and graded, and tie line and substation in service. White Cloud was declared commercial Dec. 10, 2020.

 

Member-owners can buy renewable energy credits to meet all or part of their electricity needs from their local cooperatives.

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