Butler Electric Cooperative Maximizes Financial Security for Members and Harvests Clean Energy with



Butler Electric Cooperative dedicated two sun farms near De Graff and Harvey County, with a flip of the switch today. The sun farms are intended to minimize the cooperative’s peak demand and capture cost effective natural resources.

Originally announced in November of 2020, Butler Electric Cooperative’s two solar farms were formally linked to the grid by Today’s Power Inc. (TPI) of North Little Rock, Arkansas in coordination with the Butler Electric Flip the Switch Member Appreciation Lunch. These sun farms are a part of the Kansas Cooperative Sun Power Program, a TPI solar power services agreement program that ensures low-cost renewable energy to 12 participating Kansas electric cooperatives.

Both of Butler Electric Cooperative’s sun farms were customized in the design process to maximize output during the cooperative’s peak demand hours, when power is most expensive. These factors will help Butler Electric Cooperative control power costs and stabilize rates for their members. Along with the other participating Kansas electric cooperatives, Butler Electric Cooperative negotiated very competitive long-term pricing. These farms will join two additional farms in Butler’s service territory. One owned and maintained by Butler, the other owned by Kansas Electric Power Cooperative (KEPCo).

TPI President Michael Henderson said, “We are very excited to partner with Butler Electric Cooperative on this initiative. I’ve spent my entire career supporting electric cooperative members, and being able to provide direct, quantifiable savings through projects like KCSPP is extremely rewarding. The leadership and board of directors of Butler Electric should be commended for their forward-thinking efforts in supporting their members,” he said.

“Incorporating additional solar into our portfolio is another tool to reduce electrical costs, especially during our peak demand summer months. More than 50% of our annual wholesale power bill is based on power consumed during June through September. We are always searching for innovative ways to better serve our membership,” said Tim Lindahl, Butler Electric Cooperative’s CEO.



Today’s Power, Inc. (TPI) was chosen by Kansas Cooperatives in 2020 to provide solar-produced power for cooperative use. Work on the two sun farms began in early 2021 and was completed in June 2021, after all regulatory and engineering approvals were issued. For the length of the 25-year-or-more agreement, the cooperative will purchase electricity generated by the sun farms at a fixed-low cost. TPI owns and operates 100% of the solar array.

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This opportunity to participate in the Kansas Cooperative Sun Power Program began when the wholesale power contract between all participating cooperatives and their forward-thinking generation and transmission cooperative, Kansas Electric Power Cooperatives, was recently modified to provide Kansas electric cooperatives with the ability to self-procure up to 15% of peak demand – with 5% of that amount specifically allowing for the addition of solar.



Using the sixth cooperative principle, cooperation among cooperatives, 12 cooperatives in Kansas are joining together to make a small investment for the next 25 years or more in the harvesting of sunshine. Participating electric cooperatives will be able to procure low-up-front cost solar energy to serve their membership through the Kansas Cooperative Sun Power Program and reduce their peak demand.

About



Butler Electric Cooperative is owned by its members and governed by a Board of Directors elected by the membership. The cooperative supplies electric power to over 7,000 meters in Butler, Chase, Cowley, Greenwood, Harvey, Marion and Sedgwick counties with over 2,100 miles of transmission and distribution lines. In addition to the new sun farms, Butler owns and maintains a 1MW solar farm in Butler County. For more information, visit www.butler.coop and Facebook.

About



Today’s Power, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AECI), a Little Rock-based utility service cooperative owned by 17 Arkansas electric distribution cooperatives. Today’s Power, Inc. offers turn-key solar photovoltaic systems, energy storage systems, electric vehicles and charging stations for all sizes and applications.

TPI’s unique approach to in-depth analysis of utility rates and billing allows it to design renewable energy systems and manage that energy to maximize the benefits of solar and storage for not-for-profit as well as for-profit entities.

DE GRAFF SUN FARM:

PANELS: 3,500

RACKING: Single-Axis Tracker

ACREAGE: Approximately 8 acres fenced

SIZE/CAPACITY: 1.4 MW DC / 1 MW AC

PRODUCTION: Over 2,409,373 kWh annually

INVERSION: 8 Inverters – 140 Strings (25 modules/string)

LIFESPAN: More than 25 years



FACT SHEET

HARVEY COUNTY SUN FARM:

PANELS: 3,500

RACKING: Single-Axis Tracking

ACREAGE: Approximately 8 acres fenced

SIZE/CAPACITY: 1.4 MW DC / 1 MW AC

PRODUCTION: Over 2,409,373 kWh annually

INVERSION: 8 Inverters – 140 Strings (25 modules/string)

LIFESPAN: More than 25 years

GENERAL

Environmental = Each system offsets 171 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. This is equivalent to:

USE CASE

RATE STABILIZATION

Butler Electric procured low-up-front cost solar energy to serve their membership through the Kansas Cooperative Sun Power Program and reduce their peak demand.

IMPROVING QUALITY OF LIFE WITH TECHNOLOGY AND GRID RESILIENCY

This method of generation makes it possible for the co-ops to increase the production of renewable energy throughout the year and reduce peak demand. It said the reduction of peak demand will enable each co-op to provide financial stability to its members while also reducing their carbon footprint. It said this is just one way electric cooperatives in Kansas are helping support local businesses, industries and communities with the resources they need to grow.