Ninnescah Electric Cooperative to Invest in Kansas-Based Solar Project
Ninnescah Electric Cooperative joins 11 other rural electric cooperatives in Kansas in deploying sun farms and investing in over 20 megawatts (MW) of solar power to be deployed across 800 miles of the state, and power 80,000 homes in rural Kansas.
Ninnescah Electric Cooperative’s portion of the project consists of two solar arrays sized at 1-MW each. Preliminary work has already started on the land acquired for the project by Ninnescah Electric Cooperative in Kiowa and Pratt counties. Construction should be completed by June of 2022.
Today’s Power Inc. (TPI), a North Little Rock-based company created by rural electric cooperatives in Arkansas, will develop and own the solar arrays, and the other over 20 arrays in Kansas. Over the past five years in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Tennessee, Today’s Power Inc. has successfully installed more than 25 solar projects totaling more than 40 Megawatts. A solar power service agreement (SPSA) with Today’s Power Inc. has been signed by Ninnescah 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 of 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 would all assist Ninnescah Electric Cooperative to stabilize the cost of electricity and keep power affordable for those served at the 4,124-meter locations of the cooperative.
The opportunity for Ninnescah to invest in utility-scale solar with the other Kansas cooperatives and TPI is a cost-effective way to provide our members with year-round renewable energy and reduce peak demand during the summer months.
The purchase power arrangement with TPI is a great way for managing our demand costs without a large upfront investment. TPI will operate and maintain the solar facilities which will minimize any unexpected expenses for our cooperative.
Investing in solar power ensures that the clean, affordable power generated would help all Ninnescah Electric Cooperative customer members, not just those who placed panels on their own homes.
The expenditure of Ninnescah 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.
Formed in January 1939, Ninnescah Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc. has been providing dependable electric energy to its members for over 75 years. As a member-owned, full-service electric utility, Ninnescah powers over 4,000 meters in all or part of ten counties in South-Central Kansas, including the counties of Barber, Comanche, Edwards, Harper, Kingman, Kiowa, Pawnee, Pratt, Stafford, and Reno.
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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.
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