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Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation adds wind capacity

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

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The Flat Ridge 2 Wind Farm located in Kansas has begun full commercial operation, providing Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation (AECC) with 51 megawatts of potential wind energy through a long-term power purchase agreement.

The Flat Ridge 2 Wind Farm, a 66,000-acre site spanning Barber, Harper, Kingman and Sumner counties, is the largest, single-build wind farm in the history of the U.S. wind industry. BP and Sempra U.S. Gas & Power are equal joint venture partners for the facility, which has a combined investment of more than $800 million. A wholly-owned affiliate of BP Wind Energy will monitor and maintain the farm.

"AECC is committed to providing 500,000 electric cooperative members with reliable, reasonably priced energy," said Duane Highley, president and chief executive officer of AECC, a Little Rock-based wholesale electricity supplier. "The wind power commitment continues AECC's long-term strategy to support feasible and reasonable renewable energy options, like the cooperative's three run-of-the-river hydroelectric generation stations located along the Arkansas River. The wind capacity will provide cooperative members with access to affordable renewable power for many years."

The Flat Ridge 2 Wind Farm will provide energy to consumers in Arkansas, Louisiana and Missouri through long-term power purchase agreements with AECC, Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc., and Southwestern Electric Power Company, a unit of American Electric Power.

In addition to the wind capacity, AECC owns generating capacity of 3,418 megawatts. The cooperative's generation assets include the three hydropower plants on the Arkansas River, three natural gas/oil-based plants, four natural gas-based plants and portions of four coal-based plants.

The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas comprise 17 electric distribution cooperatives; Arkansas Electric Cooperatives Inc. (AECI), a Little Rock-based cooperative that provides various services to the distribution cooperatives; and AECC, a generation and transmission cooperative. The distribution cooperatives provide electricity to more than 500,000 members, or customers, in Arkansas and surrounding states.