Big Rivers approved to sell 100 MW to municipal power group

Big Rivers Electric Corp. announced Dec. 13 the Kentucky Public Service Commission’s (PSC) approval of a ten-year power supply contract with the Kentucky Municipal Energy Agency (KyMEA).

Under the agreement signed earlier this year, Big Rivers will provide 100 MW beginning in June of 2019. The supply could also be expanded by an additional 50 MW later in the contract term.

In the Dec. 12 order, the PSC stated that “revenues from the proposed agreement should generate margins that would defray fixed costs that would otherwise be shouldered by Big Rivers’ native load customers.” Native load customers would be the more than 115,000 homes, businesses, and farms served by Big Rivers’ three Member-Owners: Jackson Purchase Energy Corp., Kenergy Corp. and Meade County Rural Electric Cooperative Corp.

“We’re excited to finalize an agreement that benefits Big Rivers, our Member-Owners, and the KyMEA,” said Big Rivers President and CEO Bob Berry. “It’s another positive step toward locating long-term buyers for our surplus power, and our low costs and high reliability made us favorable during the KyMEA selection process. This contract will help stabilize power prices and ensure competitive rates for members of Kenergy, Jackson Purchase Energy Corporation and Meade County RECC.”

KyMEA is an Inter-local Cooperation Agency representing city-owned utilities in Kentucky that terminated their long-term power supply arrangements with Kentucky Utilities or other Kentucky municipally-owned electric utilities. Members of this KyMEA contract include the cities of Barbourville, Bardwell, Benham, Corbin, Falmouth, Frankfort, Madisonville, Paris, and Providence. While Owensboro Municipal Utilities (OMU) is also a KyMEA member, OMU will not initially be an all-requirements participant and will not be a recipient of any of the capacity and energy provided under the Big Rivers contract.

In addition to the agreements with Big Rivers, the KyMEA entered into power supply contracts with the Illinois Power Marketing Co., a subsidiary of Dynegy (NYSE: DYN), and the Electric Plant Board of the City of Paducah.

Big Rivers Electric is an electric generation and transmission cooperative headquartered in Henderson, Kentucky. It has lately had to shut some of its coal-fired capacity due to the loss of load from local aluminum smelting operations.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.