Now is the time to enroll for Green Power

Now is the time to enroll for Green Power

April is open enrollment time for Cuivre River members who wish to secure more of their energy supply from a renewable resource.

“For an extra 2.5¢ per kilowatt-hour (kwh), members can order blocks of 100 kwhs of Green Power each month,” says Manager of Member Services Chris Ryan.

Enrollment includes a 12-month purchase commitment. Wind energy available to Cuivre River members is produced by the Blue Grass Ridge wind farm in Gentry County, Mo. Green Power orders placed by April 20 can secure a portion of the wind power to be delivered to members through Cuivre River’s power supply network. 

As Cuivre River’s Green Power program marks its 14th anniversary, Cuivre River members are purchasing 34,600  kilowatt-hours (kwhs) of wind energy each month, representing annual sales of 415,200 kwhs — enough energy to power 27 homes for one year*. Cuivre River’s program, one of the first in Missouri, remains one of the largest in the state today.

“Our Green Power program remains a very affordable opportunity to purchase wind power with no investment, simply a 12-month commitment,” says Ryan. A single block of 100 kwhs costs an extra $30 per year.

Wind energy is delivered to the cooperative grid each day it is available, at a fixed price per kwh that is higher than traditional energy. Other energy resources vary in price each day and are used when they are the most affordable option.

“Since wind energy is more costly, we give members a choice about how much they want to secure for their own energy use,” says Ryan. “We work to keep our wholesale power costs as low as possible for all of our members.”

Why is Green Power more expensive? A key reason: most renewable resources are not available on demand, nor do they produce much energy during our times of peak demand for energy. Renewable energy production must be backed by other generation resources to maintain a steady, reliable power supply 24 hours a day.

Members’ needs for affordable energy often trump the added cost, according to Ryan. “Many members work to capture the ‘greenest’ kwhs of all — the ones they save by improving home energy efficiency,” he adds.

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 the same electrons which leave a wind farm are delivered to your meter. However, we can guarantee that the amount you order will be delivered onto our power grid for you,” says Ryan.

Members who wish to participate in open enrollment should place orders by April 20. Suppliers require three months’ advance notice. New participants will begin receiving their Green Power July 1, and for the next 12 months. The extra cost, $2.50 per 100 kwh block per month, will begin to appear on July electric bills. Multiple blocks may be purchased.

Cuivre River does not provide renewable energy incentives, but does provide information about net metering and Missouri’s Easy Connect Act to any member who wishes to install their own renewable energy system.

To enroll in Cuivre River’s Green Power program call Ryan at 800-392-3709, ext. 4831, or email cryan@cuivre.com.

For information about renewable energy, visit www.dnr.mo.gov/energy. For a copy of Cuivre River’s guidelines to connect private residential renewable energy projects to the utility grid, contact Neal Harrell, ext. 4834, or nharrell@cuivre.com.

*Based on 1,275 kwhs/month average residential use.

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