WINCHESTER, Ky. (Feb 13, 2013) — East Kentucky Power Cooperative’s board of directors has granted final approval to integrate the cooperative’s system into the PJM Interconnection, a regional transmission organization.
Valley Forge, Pa.-based PJM Interconnection LLC coordinates and directs the operation of a regional transmission grid, administers a competitive wholesale electricity market and plans regional transmission expansion improvements for an area that includes 60 million people in all or portions of 13 states and the District of Columbia. PJM dispatches 185,000 megawatts of generating capacity, and its generators produce more electricity than Canada and Mexico combined.
Currently, EKPC operates its own control area, where the co-op is responsible for matching electric-generation from its power plants with members’ demand for electricity on a minute-by-minute basis in the most reliable and economic manner. Following integration, PJM will serve that role. EKPC will continue to own its power plants and transmission lines.
Pending final approvals from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the consent of the federal Rural Utilities Service, integration is planned to begin June 1.
“Membership in PJM Interconnection will benefit EKPC, our 16 owner-member cooperatives and the 520,000 homes and businesses they serve,” said EKPC President and CEO Anthony “Tony” Campbell.
Membership in PJM will enable EKPC to operate more efficiently and economically, Campbell added, providing affordable access to a mature power market. EKPC’s peak load diversity with PJM, combined with its low-cost generation fleet, provides significant economic benefits.
“The decision to join PJM was fully vetted by our staff and outside experts, including Charles Rivers Associates and ACES, East Kentucky’s power marketing affiliate,” said Don Mosier, EKPC executive vice president and COO. “We are all excited about this decision and look forward to a continued smooth integration.”
This past summer, EKPC’s board authorized management to begin negotiations with PJM Interconnection and to seek regulatory approvals for the move. In December, the Kentucky Public Service Commission approved EKPC’s request to integrate its system into PJM Interconnection.
EKPC owns and operates four major power plants with total generating capacity of approximately 3,000 megawatts, as well as nearly 2,800 miles of electric transmission line.