CMS MANAGER, KIRK THOMPSON, AND BOARD OF DIRECTORS AT GROUNDBREAKING CEREMONY
Investing in 20 megawatts (MW) of solar power to be deployed across 800 miles of the state, and power 80,000 homes in rural Kansas, CMS Electric Cooperative joins 11 other rural electric cooperatives in Kansas in deploying sun farms.
CMS Electric Cooperative’s portion of the project consists of one solar array sized at 2 MW. Preliminary work has already started on the tract of land acquired for the project by CMS Electric Cooperative. By June 2022, the project should be completed. The CMS Electric Cooperative 7,000-panel array will be located near a cooperative-owned substation in Comanche County.
Today’s Power Inc. (TPI), a North Little Rock-based company created by rural electric cooperatives in Arkansas, will develop and own the solar array, and the other over 20 Kansas Cooperative Sun Power Program sun farms in Kansas.
Over the past five years in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Tennessee, Today’s Power Inc. has successfully installed more than 40 renewable energy projects totaling more than 70 Megawatts.
A solar power service agreement (SPSA) with Today’s Power Inc. has been signed by CMS Electric Cooperative to purchase the solar energy generated by the two arrays for the next 25 years. This type of agreement ensures that the cooperative is not at risk or liable for the ongoing costs associated with the solar system’s maintenance and operation.
All the participating Kansas rural electric cooperatives were able to negotiate very favorable long-term rates by working together in the Kansas Cooperative Sun Power Program. In addition, in the design process, the solar arrays will be customized to optimize production during the peak demand hours of the cooperative, when electricity is most costly. These variables will allow CMS Electric Cooperative to stabilize the cost of electricity and keep power affordable for those served at the 5800-meter locations of the cooperative.
“Cooperatives working together to create a win – win for our members in bringing solar power to our systems. Locating these panels in one location is equivalent to around 200 homes. Like those we serve, CMS wants to be good stewards of our resources,” says CMS General Manager Kirk Thompson. “We live and work in rural Kansas for a reason. What we do helps feed and fuel America, and this project will help us offset the rising cost of power for our consumer-members.”
“Investing in utility-scale solar is the most cost-effective way to benefit all consumer-members of the cooperative, while also investing in a green, clean, renewable source of generation right here in our own community,” says Thompson.
Investing in solar power ensures that the clean, affordable power generated would help all CMS Electric Cooperative customer members, not just those who placed panels on their own homes.
CMS MANAGER, KIRK THOMPSON, AND BOARD OF DIRECTORS, AND STAFF AT GROUNDBREAKING CEREMONY
The expenditure of CMS Electric Cooperative in solar is only one more way the cooperative operates to reduce the usage of electricity during peak hours and regulate the cost of power. CMS Electric Cooperative has been participating in demand reduction programs for over 30 years with irrigation and commercial members. Advances in technology continues to drive better efficiencies in the use of electrical power.
CMS Electric Cooperative, Inc., was founded in April 1945 and energized its first lines in June 1948. Originally, CMS took its name from the three counties it was chartered to serve: Clark, Meade, and Seward. However, soon Comanche County was also added to the service area. The service area covers approximately 4800 square miles with approximately 2500 miles of line. Today, the cooperative serves approximately 5800 meters, consisting of residential, small commercial, large power and industrial loads. Our main office is in Meade, Kansas at 509 E. Carthage St, which is across the street from the Meade District Hospital on Highway 54. Our satellite office is in Coldwater, Kansas at 603 N. Central.
CONTACT: Kirk Thompson – General Manager
(620) 873-2184 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Today’s Power, Inc. (TPI) is one of the nation’s most experienced renewable energy companies with more utility-scale projects than any Arkansas-based company. A wholly owned subsidiary of Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc., TPI is a full-service provider able to carry out all phases of any solar or battery storage project including, but not limited to, full bill / rate analysis, site evaluation, engineering procurement, design, commissioning, monitoring, operating, and maintaining projects.