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Commentary Utilities coordinate to reduce costs T


Chris Meyers General Manager, Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives


his month, after years of prepara- tion, power genera- tion in most parts of


Oklahoma will be dispatched from a central location at the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) headquarters in Little Rock, Ark. It’s expected to reduce the average cost of generating


electricity across SPP’s 75 member utilities, inde- pendent power producers, and transmission com- panies. The savings are expected to be $100 million dollars a year. Here is an over simplifi ed analogy: imagine you live in a neighborhood of 75 households. You and each of your neighbors own one car. In most cases, no more than 50 of them are in use at any one time. You all agree to create a shared pool of your cars knowing that you rarely will need them all. However, none of you want to risk not having a car, so you also agree that 75 cars must be available and in running condition for that “peak day.” Each homeowner contributes to the use of the cars avail- able in the pool. When you need a car, you reserve it from the pool. You are responsible for paying for the gas used and a contribution to the owner for wear and tear. You always choose the most


fuel-effi cient car available in the pool. On average, the cost of transportation for the neighborhood is reduced. Utilities have always shared their generating as- sets or “cars” when it is more economical to do so. There has long been a wholesale energy market where utilities with excess generating capacity offer it up at a price to utilities that fi nd it more economi- cal to use someone else’s unit than running their own. This new SPP integrated or “day ahead” market advances this contracting process to the next level with the use of technology and real-time commu- nications. It may sound simple, but it’s a compli- cated model with real-time monitoring of thousands of points across the nine state SPP footprint. The model must account for the many limitations to the grid such as transmission constraints. Constraints will dictate that some units will run even if not the lowest cost—just to keep the grid stable. There is tremendous coordination and mutual support among electric utilities. Our industry takes great pride in maintaining a reliable and affordable source of power. Working together we have devel- oped the best and most cost-effective source of electric power in the world.


Co-op veteran leaves remarkable legacy I


Joe Harris President, Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives


n my column last July, I wrote about the men and women of the “greatest generation,” and their


remarkable accomplishments in spite of unparalleled chal- lenges during a time of cha- os worldwide. Earlier this month, we said goodbye to a member of this greatest


generation. John Dale was an essential part of Kay Electric


Cooperative (KEC) for 32 years. He worked at the cooperative during a time of its greatest growth. He served KEC as a member of the cooperative’s man- agement team, and he was the epitome of a gentle- man. John was a great father raising six children, all who have gone on to lead productive lives. He was always willing to give of his time and experience to help the community in which he lived and the members of our cooperative. Raised and educated in rural Oklahoma, John joined the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1939 and worked in the Rocky Mountain National Park. He then joined the U.S. Marine Corps and, after


4 WWW.OK-LIVING.COOP


training, was shipped to the South Pacifi c to fortify remote islands. The History Channel took six survivors back to


Wake Island to produce a documentary called “Alamo of the Pacifi c” in 2003. John was one of those survivors. During the production of this mov- ie we found out that not only did he man one of the fi ve-inch guns used during those battles, his crew was the one that sank a Japanese destroyer during the fi rst invasion attempt. He became a Prisoner of War (POW) on Dec. 23, 1941, and re- mained a prisoner for the duration of the war. It was my privilege to call John a friend and to listen to his story of the war and his time spent as a POW. He lived a remarkable life after returning home from the war. John passed away on January 31, 2014, only two days shy of his 94th birthday. There is not enough room in this column to give justice to all that John accomplished and his contributions to his fellowmen.


Please take a few minutes from your busy lives


and say “thank you” to those members of the great- est generation. Their ranks are dwindling quickly; they have left a legacy of service that we all should aspire to emulate.


Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives


Chris Meyers, General Manager Joe Harris, President


Jimmy Taylor, Vice-President Kendall Beck, Secretary Gary McCune, Treasurer


Staff


Sid Sperry, Director of PR & Communications sksperry@oaec.coop


Anna Politano, Managing Editor editor@ok-living.coop


Larry Skoch, Advertising Manager lskoch@ok-living.coop


Christy Johnson, Offi ce Manager cjohnson@oaec.coop


Kirbi Mills, Accountant/Offi ce Manager Asst. kmills@oaec.coop


Hayley Leatherwood, Multimedia Specialist hleatherwood@ok-living.coop


Harriet Orleans, Intern intern@oaec.coop


Editorial, Advertising and General Offi ces


P.O. Box 54309, Oklahoma City, OK 73154-1309 Phone (405) 478-1455


Oklahoma Living online: www.ok-living.coop Subscriptions


$3.12 per year for rural electric cooperative members.


$6.00 per year for non-members. Cooperative Members: Report change of


address to your local rural electric cooperative. Non-Cooperative Members: Send address


changes to Oklahoma Living, P.O. Box 54309, Oklahoma City, OK 73154-1309.


Oklahoma Living (ISSN 1064-8968),


USPS 407-040, is published monthly for consumer-members of Oklahoma’s rural electric cooperatives by the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives, 2325 E. I-44 Service Road,


P.O. Box 54309, Oklahoma City, OK 73154-1309. Circulation this issue: 316,125


Periodical postage paid at Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Association of Electric


Cooperatives is a statewide service organization for the following electric cooperatives: Alfalfa, Arkansas Valley, Caddo, Canadian Valley,


Central Rural, Choctaw, Cimarron, Cookson Hills, Cotton, East Central Oklahoma, Harmon, Indian, KAMO Power, Kay, Kiamichi, Kiwash, Lake Region, Northeast Oklahoma, Northfork,


Northwestern, Oklahoma, Ozarks, People’s, Red River Valley, Rural, Southeastern, Southwest Rural, Tri-County, Verdigris Valley, and Western


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