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Southern Illinois Power Cooperative Becomes Founding Member of New National Renewables Cooperative Organization

The SIPC Board of Directors approved membership within the new National Renewables Cooperative Organization (NRCO) at their March 3rd, 2008 Board meeting. The NRCO is a newly formed national cooperative to develop and deploy renewable energy resources for all cooperatives nationwide.

NRCO offers its member cooperatives a way to pool resources and efforts into a single national program that further supports the expansion of renewable energy resources and places co-ops in a proactive position to meet state or national standards if enacted, as well as to meet cooperative set voluntary goals to diversify their sources of electric power supply.

NRCO puts co-ops in the national spotlight for support of renewable energy. NRCO also serves as a means for co-ops that don't have the access to the most economic or physical circumstances for development of wind, solar or other 'green power' to potentially participate in a national renewable program.

Currently, more than half the states in the nation have adopted renewable portfolio standards (RPS), which require utilities to meet a set renewable energy megawatt quantity or precise percentage by a specific date. The federal government is also considering a national renewable standard. NRCO will provide SIPC a way to take on a leadership role for its members in Southern Illinois.

The organizational meeting of the NRCO Board of Directors will be held in May 2008 where initial steps to establish staffing and other operational resources will begin. The goal of the NRCO is to develop its first project during 2008.

W. Scott Ramsey, President of SIPC indicated, “SIPC has been
reviewing potential renewable-resource project potential in the
region and may consider joint-ownership through NRCO or other
Southern Illinois partners for viable projects. There is growing
investment in hydro, wind, and landfill gas in our area and they
will be analyzed to see which projects fit our member needs.
Currently, our only renewable resource is a 28MW allocation from federally owned hydro facilities. As power demand continues to rise from members and customers, power generators are being squeezed to offer reasonably priced power as fuel prices and government regulations increase. By adding additional renewable generation to the SIPC portfolio we will achieve a better balance and reduce the risk of price spikes in our wholesale power costs; moreover, SIPC can continue to reduce emissions through renewable generation assets”, said Ramsey.

SIPC is the wholesale power generator and transmission cooperative for Clay Electric Cooperative (in 2010), Clinton County Electric Cooperative Inc, Egyptian Electric Cooperative Association, Monroe County Electric Cooperative, Southern Illinois Electric Cooperative, Southeastern Illinois Electric Cooperative, Tri-County Electric Cooperative, Inc, and provides similar services to the City of McLeansboro Illinois, and the City of Redbud Illinois.

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