East Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC) is seeking approval from Kentucky state regulators to integrate its system into PJM Interconnection.
EKPC’s board of directors has authorized management to negotiate the cooperative’s membership in PJM, with integration beginning as soon as June 1, 2013, pending regulatory approvals as well as the board’s approval of a final agreement with PJM, EKPC added May 3.
EKPC faces increasingly constrained operating conditions and more stringent regulatory requirements that place economic pressure on its ability to operate independently, EKPC President and CEO Anthony Campbell said in the statement.
“Our analysis indicates membership in PJM Interconnection will provide a significant benefit to EKPC, its 16 owner-member cooperatives and the 520,000 Kentucky homes and businesses they serve,” he said. “We believe PJM membership will enable our cooperative to operate more efficiently and economically, providing affordable access to an established power market.”
EKPC said it currently operates its own control area, where it is responsible for matching electric generation from its power plants with members’ electricity demand on a minute-by-minute basis in the most reliable and economic manner. If EKPC becomes a member, PJM would serve that role and EKPC would continue to own and operate its power plants and transmission lines. The cooperative owns and operates four major power plants with total generating capacity of about 3,000 MW, as well as about 2,800 miles of transmission lines.
PJM separately May 3 praised EKPC’s announcement. “It confirms EKPC’s confidence in PJM to enhance reliability and in PJM’s competitive wholesale electricity markets,” PJM said. “We will work closely with EKPC throughout the process.”