This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
A SUPPLEMENT TO OKLAHOMA LIVING


®


LIVEWIRE MARCH 2012 | VOLUME 63 ISSUE 3 | P UBL I S HED FOR MEMBE RS OF T RI - COUNTY ELEC T RIC COOPERAT IV E From Wind Farm to Light Bulb Wind is part of the power mix at Tri-County Electric Cooperative


ccording to member survey comments, cooperative members are looking to Tri-County Electric to deliver more power generated from wind to their homes. While flipping a light switch is pretty easy, the process involved in delivering the electricity to light that bulb is quite complex. An understanding of the generation, transmission and distribution processes as well as the process for bringing new wind generation online is essential to understand the cooperative’s position in the delivery of wind electricity. Currently, the cooperative has two wind farms on its lines and two more are in the


A


process of being built. All the wind farms are near the Texas-Oklahoma border. Although these wind farms are on the cooperative’s lines and members of Tri-County Electric are using this power, the cooperative is not purchasing that power directly from the wind developer. The power from the wind farms is sold contractually to Xcel Energy who then sells it to the cooperative. Members often wonder why the cooperative isn’t purchasing this power directly from


the developer. That’s because having Xcel Energy, as one of the cooperative’s wholesale power suppliers, in the process helps to keep costs affordable. It is also beneficial to the wind developer because they can sell excess power to Xcel Energy for delivery elsewhere. Tri-County Electric has two wholesale power supplier contracts, one with Xcel Energy and one with Golden Spread Electric Cooperative. These are ‘all requirements’ contracts where the cooperative has agreed to purchase power to meet its needs from those two suppliers and no one else. Those power suppliers are contractually obligated to meet the cooperative’s power load requirements today as well as any growth in that load. The all requirements contract is the best deal for the cooperative’s members because it keeps costs low and it ensures reliable power for future growth. On a side note, the cooperative’s agreement with Xcel Energy is set to expire in 2021.


While nine years may seem far away, it’s really not in terms of making a decision on whether to renew that agreement or go with another supplier. Many factors will influence this decision, one of which is that the cooperative’s choice of power suppliers is limited by the electrical grid. Other suppliers would have to find a way to bring power to our area. “Additional transmission capability is one of the many reasons the build out of wind by


the Southwest Power Pool will be beneficial to cooperative members,” Tri-County Electric CEO Jack Perkins said. “We do whatever we can to support its development.” A common belief is that wind is so abundant in the Oklahoma Panhandle and


surrounding area, many wind farms should be built. As mentioned previously, the cooperative is already using wind on its system. Because wind is a nonfirm power, meaning its availability fluctuates and can’t be scheduled, only so much of the cooperative’s load can be served by it. The cooperative won’t be able to use much more wind for its members, it will have to be delivered elsewhere.


CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100  |  Page 101  |  Page 102  |  Page 103  |  Page 104  |  Page 105  |  Page 106  |  Page 107  |  Page 108  |  Page 109  |  Page 110  |  Page 111  |  Page 112  |  Page 113  |  Page 114  |  Page 115  |  Page 116  |  Page 117  |  Page 118  |  Page 119  |  Page 120  |  Page 121  |  Page 122  |  Page 123  |  Page 124  |  Page 125  |  Page 126  |  Page 127  |  Page 128  |  Page 129  |  Page 130  |  Page 131  |  Page 132  |  Page 133  |  Page 134  |  Page 135  |  Page 136  |  Page 137  |  Page 138