Southern Illinois Power Cooperative



Southern Illinois Power Cooperative (SIPC) is a generation and transmission cooperative serving seven distribution cooperatives and two municipals. SIPC was originally organized in 1948 by Egyptian Electric Cooperative Association (Steeleville), SouthEastern Illinois Electric Cooperative (Eldorado) and Southern Illinois Electric Cooperative (Dongola) and the City of Cairo. The purpose of the group was to obtain bulk power from the Tennessee Valley Authority through a Kentucky linkage. That attempt failed, but the new organization was able to obtain a notable reduction in electric rates when it signed a ten year bulk power contract for its member systems in 1950. A major goal accomplished, the organization then became dormant until 1957, when it was revived by the three member cooperatives. In 1959, the three electric cooperatives decided to apply to the REA for a $25 million loan with which to construct their own power supply facilities. The loan request made history when it was approved in 1960 as it was the first REA loan for a generation facility.

In 2000, SIPC admitted two additional members – Clinton County Electric Cooperative and Tri-County Electric Cooperative.

On January 1, 1999, Monroe County Electric Cooperative began purchasing 100% of their energy from SIPC. They joined SIPC as the sixth member in 2002. On January 1, 2010, Clay Electric Cooperative will join SIPC as the seventh member.


SIPC’s Board of Directors is composed of three representatives and the manager from each of the member systems.

Power Supply

SIPC owns and operates its own power supply. Baseload capacity is provided by two coal-fired units. In 2003, SIPC completed a significant plant upgrade by replacing three aging small boilers with one 120 MW circulating fluidized bed boiler. The new boiler greatly enhances reliability and slightly increased capacity. The new boiler, which operates at a lower temperature than the cyclone boilers it replaced, is capable of burning a variety of fuels. SIPC currently fuels the boiler with locally available mine waste. In addition to the new boiler, SIPC operates a 173 MW coal-fired unit, which came online in 1978. This unit is equipped with a wet scrubber and selective catalytic reduction technology. The scrubber was part of the original 1978 construction, while the SCR was added in 2003.

Other power supply resources include 28MW of hydro-power from the SouthEastern Power Administration, a federally owned facility on the Cumberland River and two 70 MW simple cycle combustion turbines to provide peaking power. In 2007, SIPC purchased an ownership share of a 1,600 MW mine-mouth coal-fired power plant currently under construction in Illinois. SIPC owns 7.9% of the project, which equates to approximately 125 MW of power once the plant is fully operational in 2012.


SIPC’s 862 miles of transmission lines and 15 substations provide electricity to over 90,000 end customers. SIPC constructs, owns and operates all transmission lines of 69 kV and above to service the distribution cooperatives. The SIPC system serves approximately 150 member distribution-substations in the southern Illinois area through its own connections and MISO.

Other Points of Interest

SIPC has made a major contribution to the economic well being of the 19 county region in southern Illinois known as “Little Egypt”. SIPC is located on the shores of a 2300 acre lake with 93 miles of shoreline developed by SIPC for cooling water.

SIPC utilizes locally available coal and carbon which enables SIPC to meet its responsibilities to the diversified economy of agriculture, mining, manufacturing and recreation in southern Illinois.

SIPC is a member of ACES Power Marketing, Midwest ISO and Southeast Electric Reliability Council (SERC). In 2008, SIPC joined the National Renewables Cooperative Organization (NRCO) as a founding member. The NRCO mission is to identify and develop renewable energy projects on behalf of member cooperatives.