North Carolina Electric Cooperatives Secure Wind Resources

Raleigh, N.C. —North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation (NCEMC), the power supply organization for the majority of the state’s electric cooperatives, announced today its participation in a wind farm located in Story County, Iowa, and operated by a subsidiary of FPL Energy.

NCEMC, a generation and transmission (G&T) cooperative, joins five other G&Ts across the country in the historic joint project, believed to be the first time several cooperative utilities from different regions of the country have banded together to reap the benefits of a large-scale wind project.

The Story County Wind Energy Center is comprised of 100 General Electric 1.5 MW turbines.  At its maximum capacity, the facility will be capable of generating enough electricity for approximately 37,500 average size homes.

The participating G&Ts will purchase the entire output of the 150 MW Wind Energy Center.  NCEMC’s share will be 12 megawatts.

The other participating G&Ts are: PowerSouth Energy Cooperative (serving portions of Alabama and Florida); Wabash Valley Power Association (serving in several Midwest states including Indiana); Hoosier Energy (serving parts of Indiana and Illinois); Central Iowa Power Cooperative; and Buckeye Power (serving in Ohio).

Each of the six G&Ts will receive Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) from the project, which they may use for their own account or sell into the REC marketplace.

The Story County facility began commercial operation earlier this month. The energy generated by the facility will be consumed in the region served by the Midwest ISO, an independent, regional transmission organization responsible for maintaining balance and reliability of the area’s electric grid system.

North Carolina’s electric cooperatives are committed to furthering the development of renewable energy. This project, while located in Iowa, presents an opportunity to gain further insight into wind energy resources, an option not currently available in North Carolina. The Iowa project is an important addition to the cooperatives’ portfolio of renewable resources.  The cooperatives will receive RECs in return for their participation in the project.

North Carolina’s electric cooperatives’ newly formed company, GreenCo Solutions, will manage the RECs associated with the output of the facility.   The RECs may be used to assist the NC cooperatives in complying with North Carolina’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard, established in Senate Bill 3 by the state legislature, or may be sold into the REC marketplace.

GreenCo Solutions, formed this year, is a member-owned green cooperative that manages energy efficiency programs and renewable energy projects for the members of North Carolina’s electric cooperatives.