Rural Missouri - April 2018 - 4
| C O O P E R AT I O N
picked for Rural
photo by Jim McCarty
Electric cooperative members in Missouri, Iowa and Oklahoma will beneﬁt from the renewable power provided by seven
wind farms when the new Clear Creek project near Maryville comes online. This photo is from the Lost Creek Wind Farm.
More wind in the wires
Associated to buy power from new wind farm in northwest Missouri
lectric cooperative members in three states
will beneﬁt from more renewable energy once
the Clear Creek Wind Farm comes online.
Associated Electric Cooperative, which supplies wholesale electricity to electric cooperatives in
Missouri, Iowa and Oklahoma, recently announced
it had agreed to buy the output from the Clear Creek
project to be built north of Maryville by Tenaska.
That will bring the number of wind farms supplying electricity to Associated to seven, including:
Bluegrass Ridge, Cow Branch, Conception and Lost
Creek in northwest Missouri; Osage in Oklahoma
and Flat Ridge in Kansas. The new wind farm is
expected to be online in 2020.
The electricity generated by the wind farm is
under contract to Associated through a 25-year
power purchase agreement. Clear Creek will be built
on 30,000 acres of private land in Nodaway County.
It will consist of 100 to 120 Vestas turbines, each
with a capacity of 2 to 3 megawatts.
Altogether, the wind farm could generate as much
as 236 megawatts, keeping in mind the variable
nature of wind energy.
According to Associated, the Clear Creek power
purchase agreement is competitive with the cost
of coal and gas generation, traditionally the power
cooperative's lowest-cost generation sources. The
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RURAL MISSOURI | APRIL 2018
long-term pricing of this contract serves as a buffer
against the possibility of rising fuel prices for power
Improvements in turbine technology make this an
even better energy resource for electric cooperative
members. Clear Creek features a capacity factor of
47 percent which will provide a more stable renewable power resource than previous turbine designs.
Associated has signiﬁcant experience managing the energy output from 750 megawatts of wind
energy at the six existing wind farms from which it
receives power. With the addition of Clear Creek, a
total capacity of 986 megawatts will potentially be
available when wind conditions are right.
Associated made possible the ﬁrst wind farm in
Missouri, Bluegrass Ridge, when it agreed to purchase the entire output of the wind farm near King
City in 2007. That same year, the Springﬁeld-based
power cooperative was recognized as the "Wind
Cooperative of the Year" by the U.S. Department
of Energy, the National Rural Electric Cooperative
Association and the Cooperative Research Network.
The award acknowledged that, at the time, Missouri was considered a marginal state for wind
energy projects. Associated's faith in the potential
of wind energy opened the door for many other wind
farms in Missouri.
en Johnson, manager of Co-Mo Electric Cooperative, Tipton, will be the new
administrator of the Rural Utilities Service, the USDA program that provides
capital and other services for the nation's electric
cooperatives. His selection by President Trump
marks the ﬁrst time a Missourian has headed the
"Ken's qualiﬁcations and experiences make
him well-suited to lead the Rural Utilities Service within USDA," said U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler.
"He led the way in our state to deploy a ﬁberto-the-home network to all of Co-Mo's members
without federal or state funding, providing gigabit internet, video and voice services to nearly
16,000 subscribers. This has had a huge impact
on my constituents. As we work to close the digital divide between those who have high-speed
internet and those who do not, it is important
to have leaders like Ken who have a real understanding of the technological challenges facing
rural America and Missouri."
Barry Hart, CEO of the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives, called Johnson one
of the top managers he has worked with in his
40-year career. "He has never forgotten that he
works for the members at the end of the line,"
Hart said. "When the members of Co-Mo Electric
told the co-op they wanted access to high-speed
internet services, Ken worked with his staff and
found a way to deliver what the members wanted.
Because of Ken's leadership, Co-Mo's members
today enjoy internet speeds of up to 1 gigabit per
second and access to the latest technology."
Ken grew up on a farm near Edgar, Nebraska
and was manager of Twin Valleys Public Power
District before moving to Co-Mo Electric.
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