Sunflower Electric Power Corporation Announces Third Solar Project
Hays, Kan.— Feb. 7, 2024 —Sunflower Electric Power Corp. is partnering on a 150-megawatt solar energy project near Fort Dodge Station, the company’s electric generating facility one mile southeast of Dodge City, Kan. Expected commercial operation is during the first half of 2026.
Sunflower is a cooperatively operated wholesale generation and transmission utility serving seven member distribution utilities located in western Kansas. The Boot Hill Solar Project will join Sunflower’s 20-megawatt Johnson Corner Solar Project (JCSP), which came online in April 2020, and Sunflower’s 20-megawatt Sunflower Electric Solar @ Russell Project, scheduled for commercial operation in January 2025, in providing solar power to Sunflower’s members and those they serve.
Because it produces on-peak energy during the hottest days of the year when the Sunflower system experiences its peak demand for electricity, the Boot Hill Solar Project will complement the company’s other generation resources, which are powered by natural gas, coal, and wind. In addition to providing on-peak renewable energy, the project will also provide the system with incremental capacity.
The Victory Electric Cooperative Assn., Inc., located in Dodge City, joins Sunflower’s six other member-owners in supporting the Boot Hill Solar Project, which will surpass the JCSP and the Sunflower Electric Solar @ Russell projects as the largest operating solar facility in the state. Strategically locating the Boot Hill Solar project near existing Sunflower assets will provide cost and schedule benefits to all of the member-owners.
“We are always glad when we can provide more value to our members,” said Shane Laws, Victory CEO, “but having what will be the state’s largest operating solar facility located in our community makes this project even more exciting. Thank you to everyone who has helped us get to this phase.”
Sunflower is partnering with Alluvial Power to design and construct the project, and the two entities have executed a power purchase agreement for the energy generated by the Boot Hill Solar Project. The facility will generate approximately 400,000 megawatt hours annually, which represents about 9% of the Sunflower system’s energy needs. The facility, located on approximately 1,000 acres in Ford County, Kansas and will have over 300,000 solar panels mounted on a single-axis solar tracking system designed to maximize the amount of energy captured from the sun.
“We are excited to bring the Boot Hill Solar Project to the Ford County community,” said Brian Kirk, an Alluvial Power executive. “Our team enjoyed collaborating with the Sunflower team, Victory and Sunflower’s other members, Ford County officials and local community members. We look forward to delivering a high-value, cost-effective resource to Sunflower’s members and system.”
Sunflower is again working with the National Renewables Cooperative Organization (NRCO) of which Sunflower is a founder and member-owner. NRCO was also instrumental in bringing the JCSP to fruition and is partnering with Sunflower in developing the Sunflower Electric Solar @ Russell Project.
“NRCO is honored to support its member Sunflower in adding additional solar capacity. This project brings unique economic benefits to Sunflower’s members,” said Todd Bartling, NRCO vice president of renewables development.
Construction is scheduled to begin in 2025. During the approximately one-year construction phase, the project will require approximately 200 workers at peak buildout.
“Each energy generation resource type has benefits, so Sunflower supports an all-of-the-above approach to our generation portfolio,” said Steve Epperson, Sunflower interim president and CEO. “Sunflower’s Board of Directors has carefully analyzed the factors and variables associated with adding more solar energy to our system and believes the time is right to capitalize on the economic efficiencies and other benefits of this project for our members.”
About Sunflower Electric Power Corporation
Sunflower Electric Power Corporation, established in 1957, is a regional wholesale generation and transmission supplier dedicated to serving its members by providing reliable power at the lowest possible cost consistent with sound business and cooperative practices. Sunflower’s member cooperatives include Lane-Scott Electric Cooperative, Inc., Dighton; Pioneer Electric Cooperative, Inc., Ulysses; Prairie Land Electric Cooperative, Inc., Norton; The Victory Electric Cooperative Association, Inc., Dodge City; Western Cooperative Electric Association, Inc., WaKeeney; and Wheatland Electric Cooperative, Inc., Scott City, Kan. Southern Pioneer Electric Company, Ulysses, is also a member of Sunflower. For more information, visit sunflower.net. or Facebook, X, and YouTube social media pages.
About The Victory Electric Cooperative Assn., Inc.,
The Victory Electric Cooperative Assn., Inc., a member-owned electric distribution cooperative, is headquartered in Dodge City and serves all or parts of nine counties in southwest Kansas. Victory Electric was organized in 1945 to serve primarily farm residential services. Through the years, Victory has expanded to a broad consumer base of diversified loads ranging from industrial, commercial and irrigation loads with more than 3,100 miles of transmission and distribution line. For more information visit Victory Electric’s website at victoryelectric.net or Facebook, X, and YouTube social media pages.
About National Renewables Cooperative Organization
Formed in 2008 by 21 cooperatives, NRCO aims to increase access to cost-effective renewable energy resources for electric cooperatives around the country. NRCO provides full origination and development services for its owner-members and cooperative customers, with over 2.5 gigawatts of wind and solar projects completed to date including 60 cooperative-run community solar farms. For more information, visit nrco.coop.
About Alluvial Power
Alluvial Power delivers utility-scale energy transition solutions through a customer-first approach. For more information, see https://www.alluvialpower.com/.
NRCO selected by U.S. Department of Energy for Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations Grant
For Immediate Release: September 22, 2023
Contact Scott Bradtmiller, NRCO (317) 344-7908
CARMEL, IN – Five rural communities from the Midwest to the east coast will see improved grid resilience and reliability because of a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the National Renewables Cooperative Organization (NRCO) announced today. The funds will help bring cutting-edge, long-duration energy storage to five electric cooperative-served communities. NRCO and its project partners will use the funding to bring five vanadium flow batteries (VFBs) capable of discharging 700 kW to 3.6MW of electricity for up to 20 hours to these geographically diverse rural communities. The grant is part of $350 million available from DOE’s Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED).
“Long-duration energy storage is necessary for the clean energy transition and we are excited to partner with DOE to demonstrate the capabilities of VFBs in rural communities. Electric cooperatives are innovators, and the five sites our members have selected will help demonstrate to other utilities the many beneficial uses for long-duration energy storage,” said Mike Keyser, Chief Executive Officer of NRCO.
Long-duration energy storage (LDES) allows utilities to charge up when renewable energy is plentiful, and then discharge for an extended period in the evenings and overnight hours. LDES also provides reliability during extended outages, allowing crews to assess and address issues while minimizing impact to consumers. This capability is especially important in rural areas where most communities rely on electricity to power critical infrastructure such as water pumps, medical facilities and communication systems.
Aligning to the cooperative principle of concern for community, NRCO and its participating member cooperatives will leverage deep-rooted connections within the communities they serve to engage relevant stakeholders and uphold local values and priorities, while also providing citizens with a voice throughout the process.
“Electric cooperatives are an integral part of the communities they serve, and as not-for-profit organizations, their actions are rooted in doing what’s best for people and the community,” said Keyser. “This chapter of the story is about co-ops bringing innovation to rural America that provides new economic opportunities while also enhancing grid resilience and charting a path to a cleaner energy future.”
In addition to the benefits the project will bring to communities, this project will serve as a source of data for the DOE’s Rapid Operational Validation Initiative (ROVI). The technology provider, Invinity Energy Systems, is a global leader in the production of vanadium flow batteries with high efficiencies and long lifespans. The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) will carry out the techno-economic analyses and data collection for the project to inform decision-making and provide valuable insights into the potential benefits of VRFBs.
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Battery Project Sites:
1. Iowa: Meswaki Indian Settlement in Tama County – Served by Central Iowa Power Cooperative (CIPCO)
2. Iowa: Waterville in Allamakee County – Served by Wisconsin-based Dairyland Power Cooperative (DPC)
3. Maryland: Smith Island and Virginia: Tangier Island – Served by Virginia-based Old Dominion Electric Cooperative (ODEC)
4. North Carolina: Hamlet Plant Power Station in Hamlet – Served by North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation (NCEMC)
5. South Carolina: Blair Hamlet in Fairfield County – Served by Central Electric Power Cooperative, Inc. (CEPCI)
Formed in 2008, NRCO has 22 members across the United States that have a combined peak load of over 40 GW and serve more than 7.6 million homes and businesses. NRCO’s mission is to empower the clean energy transition for America’s electric cooperatives. NRCO’s innovative solutions assist members through the maze of new storage applications, new grid infrastructure projects, evolving federal and state policies, and emerging technologies toward a cleaner and more reliable grid. Visit nrco.coop to learn more.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED) was established to accelerate clean energy technologies and fill a critical innovation gap on the path to achieving our nation’s climate goals of net zero emissions by 2050. OCED’s mission is to deliver clean energy demonstration projects at scale in partnership with the private sector to accelerate deployment, market adoption, and the equitable transition to a decarbonized energy system. Visit energy.gov/oced to learn more.
Invinity Energy Systems is a global leader in the production of vanadium flow batteries for long-duration energy storage applications. Its batteries have a liquid electrolyte, high efficiency, and long lifespan. The company has installed its batteries in various projects around the world, including Australia and California. As a leader in the vanadium flow battery industry, Invinity is working to advance the transition to a cleaner, more reliable energy system. Visit invinity.com for more information.
Sunflower Renewable Energy RFP
On behalf of the Sunflower Electric Power Corporation, NRCO is issuing a request for proposal in response to new opportunities created under the Inflation Reduction Act for renewable energy projects in SPP. A full copy of the RFP can be found here. All information must be entered into the NRCO RFP system found here. Supporting information must be uploaded to your company’s NRCO SharePoint site.
RFP Available to Respondents: 7/06/2023
Proposal(s) Due Date:7/28/2023 5:00pm est
Project Review Calls: Week of 7/31/2023
Short List: TBD – Pending LOI acceptance
If you have questions regarding this RFP contact Todd Bartling at 317-344-7905.
NRCO Announces New CEO
Thursday, September 16, 2021 – Carmel, IN
The National Renewables Cooperative Organization (NRCO) Board of Directors announced today that they have unanimously selected Michael Keyser as NRCO’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Mr. Keyser’s start date will be January 1, 2022. Keyser succeeds Amadou Fall, who served as CEO from the company’s inception in 2008 until February 2021, when he joined North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation as Chief Operating Officer.
Keyser is currently CEO of BARC Electric Cooperative (BARC) and its wholly-owned fiber-to-the-home subsidiary, BARC Connects, where he has served since 2010. He has extensive industry experience, and has led significant change in renewable and technology development at BARC. Keyser earned a Bachelor’s degree in business from Washington State University, a law degree from Seattle University School of Law, and a black belt in Lean Six Sigma from Virginia Tech.
Andrew Lachowsky, NRCO’s Board President, shared, “We are excited to welcome Mike given his passion for renewables and his proven record of innovation. His background demonstrates that he will be able to effectively lead NRCO in assisting its members through our industry transformation as additions of renewables and related technologies continue to increase. The NRCO Board is confident Mike’s leadership will help guide NRCO’s strategy to deliver value to its members.”
“I am honored to join the team at NRCO as its next chief executive, and look forward to working with the members on technologies and strategies as our industry rapidly evolves,” said Keyser. “Leading NRCO is a truly unique opportunity for me to bring the perspective of both the retail consumer and distribution cooperative to the work that NRCO does. I am excited to assist the members as the country migrates toward a more clean and sustainable electric grid.”
NRCO’s Board of Directors Selection Committee retained CarterBaldwin Executive Search to conduct a nationwide search to identify candidates to serve as CEO of NRCO. Don Gulley, President and CEO of Southern Illinois Power Cooperative, led the Search Committee. Gulley recognized the efforts of Chris Guiney, Partner at CarterBaldwin, in this process, noting, “Chris did an outstanding job identifying and presenting viable candidates that could lead NRCO Members through this time of energy industry transition and transformation.”
Lachowsky also recognized Todd Bartling, who has served as Interim CEO since February 2021, stating, “The NRCO Board is thankful for Todd’s leadership and commitment to continuing to further NRCO’s mission and serve its members during this transition.”
Formed in 2008, NRCO has 21 members across the United States that have a combined peak load of nearly 40 GW and serve more than 7.6 million homes and businesses. NRCO’s mission is to create opportunities for its members to contract and develop a wide range of cost-effective renewable energy resources. NRCO’s innovative solutions assist members through the maze of new storage applications, new grid infrastructure projects, evolving federal and state policies, and emerging technologies toward a cleaner and more reliable grid.
Central Iowa Power Cooperative adds 104MW of Wind
DATE: April 2, 2018
DES MOINES – Central Iowa Power Cooperative (CIPCO) announced development of the Heartland Divide Wind Farm, a major project to expand its wind energy platform, set for completion by the end of this year. CIPCO will purchase 100 percent of the output from the 104 MW facility owned by an affiliate of NextEra Energy Resources, adding to its already diverse energy portfolio, which is more than 60 percent carbon-free.
NRCO assisted CIPCO with the PPA review.
The full press release can be found here.
Arkansas Electric Cooperative adds 100MWs of solar
Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation (AECC) has announced it will buy up to 100MWac from a 800-acre solar farm near Crossett Arkansas. AECC, a cooperatively owned Generation & Transmission (G&T) entity has entered into a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Renewable Energy Systems Inc. (RES) to purchase solar power from Crossett Solar Energy Farm starting in 2021. National Renewable Cooperative Organization(NRCO) helped AECC fine tune language in a solar PPA provided by NRCO. The addition of the solar PPA will raise AECC’s renewable portfolio to 17% of their total generation.
NRCO assisted AECC with the RFP development and contract review.
A full press release can be seen here
Mid-Kansas Electric Company announces solar project
Johnson Corner Solar AnnouncementMid-Kansas Electric Company Inc., along with its sister company Sunflower Electric Power Corporation, announced its plan to purchase renewable energy from a 20-megawatt solar project scheduled for construction in southwest Kansas. The cooperatively operated wholesale generation and transmission utility has signed a 25-year power purchase agreement with Lightsource BP, an independent power producer that will build, own and operate the solar facility.
The National Renewable Cooperative Organization, with its member-owner Mid-Kansas, jointly developed the project and sourced Lightsource BP as Mid-Kansas’ long-term partner.
The full press release can be found here: Mid-Kansas Solar Project News Release
Kansas Lieutenant Governor Tracey Mann joined representatives from Mid-Kansas, Lightsource BP, and NRCO to announce the project on February 27, 2018.
RES Begins Construction of EDP Renewables’ Hog Creek Wind Project for SMECO
Renewable Energy Systems (RES) is pleased to announce that construction has begun on the Hog Creek Wind Project located in Hardin County, OH. The National Renewables Cooperative Organization (NRCO) facilitated the 20-year power purchase agreement with Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO). Hog Creek Wind Project will be a 66-MW project comprised of 30 Vestas V110 2.2-MW turbines. The project, owned by EDP Renewables (EDPR), is on schedule to be operational before the end of 2017.
“Once again, NRCO has assisted SMECO with procuring wind energy to help the cooperative meet state requirements. As we add more and more renewable energy to our power portfolio, we demonstrate our commitment to environmental stewardship,” said Jeff Shaw, SMECO Vice President of Distributed Energy and Sustainability.
The full press release can be found here: Hog Creek Press Release
Cooperative Energy 52MW Solar Project Begins Construction
HATTIESBURG, Miss. – May 23, 2017 – Hattiesburg-based Cooperative Energy and Origis Energy USA began construction in May on a 52MW solar energy facility, which will provide clean energy to the generation and transmission cooperative’s 423,000 members across Mississippi. Origis Energy has developed and will install and operate the electric generation site, and Cooperative Energy will purchase all power produced at the location.
The 540-acre solar site is located near Sumrall in Lamar County. The site will encompass 206,892 photovoltaic solar panels when completed in December 2017. The project will create approximately 400 jobs during construction.
240 MW of Wind Contracted in NRCO 2016 Wind Request for Information (RFI)
At the beginning of 2016, the National Renewables Cooperative Organization (NRCO) released a Request for Information (RFI) on behalf of its Members regarding wind projects across the country. Over 40 developers responded representing over 120 individual wind assets under development in the PJM, MISO, ERCOT, SPP, and Southeast markets.
Earlier this month NRCO, working with participating Members, brought 3 deals to close out of its 2016 wind RFI, totaling 240 MW of wind capacity. One of these deals was recently announced: Dairyland Power Cooperative will be purchasing 80 MW of wind generation from the Barton Wind Project, operated by Avangrid Renewables. Information regarding the two remaining private deals will be be provided when they go public.
NRCO plans to begin its 2017 wind RFI process towards the end of February 2017.