Celebrate Earth Day, Add "Green" To Your Power
Cuivre River members can celebrate Earth Day all year by purchasing green power through the cooperative's power supply network. You can order Green Power by Earth Day, April 22, and secure a portion of the wind power generated in our region for delivery to the power grid on your behalf for the next 12 months.
April is traditionally the most popular Green Power open enrollment month for Cuivre River members who wish to "green up" their electricity. For an extra 2.5¢ per kilowatt-hour (kwh), you can order blocks of 100 kwhs of electricity generated by wind farms in our region. Enrollment includes a 12-month purchase commitment.
"Our wholesale power suppliers, Associated Electric Cooperative (AECI) and Central Electric Power Cooperative (CEPC), give us the opportunity to offer Green Power to members who want energy generated by renewable resources," says Manager of Member Services Kevin Hurd. AECI has exclusive rights to purchase the energy output of the majority of turbines constructed on wind farms in northwest Missouri, Oklahoma and Kansas.
"We're pleased to offer renewable energy, but it comes at a higher price," says Hurd. A single 100 kwh block costs an extra $30/year. "We give members a choice," says Hurd, "and work to keep our wholesale power costs as low as possible for all of our members."
Cuivre River's Green Power program began in 2004. Members purchase 41,500 kwhs of Green Power each month, representing annual sales of 498,000 kwhs.
"For an extra 2.5¢ per kwh, using Green Power is a very affordable option for members who wish to support renewable energy development," says Hurd. Cooperative suppliers have access to 600 megawatts (MW) of wind energy.
"We're often asked why Green Power is more expensive," Hurd continues. A key reason: most renewable resources — especially large scale wind and solar energy applications — are not available on demand. They are more difficult and costly to convert into electricity for delivery to the power grid. In addition, power generated by these types of facilities must be backed by other generation resources to maintain a steady, reliable power supply.
Although all kwhs look the same once they enter the transmission network, when Cuivre River members purchase Green Power, energy from renewable resources is delivered to the utility grid for them.
"We cannot guarantee that electrons which leave a wind farm are delivered to your meter. We can guarantee that the amount you order will be delivered onto our power grid for you," says Hurd.
Members who wish to participate in open enrollment should place orders by April 22. Suppliers require three months' advance notice. New participants will begin receiving their Green Power July 1, and for the next 12 months. The cost, an extra $2.50 per 100 kwh block, will begin to appear on your July or August electric bill. Multiple blocks are available.
"Renewable energy enthusiasts who are interested in generating their own renewable energy face much higher costs," says Hurd. Cuivre River does not provide rebates or incentives for solar and wind projects, but does provide information about Net Metering and Missouri's Easy Connect Act.
To enroll in Cuivre River's Green Power program call Hurd at 800.392.3709, ext. 231, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
For general information about renewable energy, visit www.dnr.mo.gov/energy. For a copy of Cuivre River's guidelines to connect private residential wind or solar energy projects to the utility grid, contact Hurd.
Cooperative-owned power supplier Associated Electric Cooperative has exclusive contracts to purchase electricity from seven utility-scale wind farms, including the Conception wind farm show above.
Cuivre River's Green Power is produced at the Blue Grass Ridge wind farm on a 10,000-acre tract located in Gentry County, Mo.
Wind farms generating power for cooperatives include:
Conception, 50 MW, Nodaway County, Missouri. 7,000 acres
Blue Grass Ridge, 50 MW, Gentry County, Missouri. 10,000 acres
Cow Branch, 50 MW, Atchison County, Missouri. 7,000 acres
Lost Creek, 150 MW, DeKalb County, Missouri. 20,000 acres
Flat Ridge 2, 300 MW, Kiowa, Kansas 66,000 acres
Osage, 150 MW, Osage County, Ok. 8.500 acres (Projected to open in 2014)
Current capacity: 600 MW Total acreage: 110,000