Where do you get your power?
All 25 electric distribution cooperatives serving members in Ohio (24 are based in the state; another, Midwest Energy Cooperative, based in Cassopolis, MI, serves about 1,000 members in sections of Fulton and Williams counties in northwestern Ohio) get their electricity from Buckeye Power, Inc. (BPI).
BPI owns two of the three generating units in the Cardinal Generating Station, located about seven miles south of Steubenville at Brilliant, Ohio. Buckeye Power, Inc. is a generation and transmission cooperative established by Ohio’s rural electric co-ops to produce and transmit electric power for the member systems throughout the state. Cooperative members own Units 2 and 3 of the Cardinal plant. The two units came on line in 1968 and 1977, respectively, and BPI contracts with American Electric Power (AEP), owner of Unit 1, to operate Units 2 and 3. This joint ownership and operation of the plant is a unique arrangement between a cooperative enterprise and an investor-owned utility.
The plant is in compliance with all current environmental regulations. It has already made the changes necessary to be in compliance with Phase II of the amendments to the Clean Air Act, which took effect in 2000. In 2002, the Robert P. Mone Plant became available for use during peak electric-use periods. Its 510 megawatts of power are provided by three natural gas and oil-fired combustion turbines.
Some facts about Buckeye Power’s Units 2 and 3 at the Cardinal Station, and about electricity they supply to the state’s electric distribution cooperatives:
- Ohio’s electric cooperatives serve more than 340,000 homes and businesses in 77 of Ohio’s 88 counties.
- The cooperatives combined have about 46,000 miles of distribution lines.
- In FY 2001, 7.2 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity were sold by the state’s electric cooperatives. The average residential consumer getting electricity from a distribution cooperative used 1,100 kilowatt-hours a month.
- Ohio’s electric cooperatives have an average of seven consumers per mile of line and average about $8,482 in annual revenues per mile of line. By contrast, the state average for investor-owned utilities (IOUs) is 31 residential customers and $73,916 in annual revenues per mile of line.
- The distribution cooperatives sell, on the average, 65 percent of their power to residential consumers. Commercial, industrial and off-peak sales to other utilities account for 35 percent of sales and substantially improve system load factor, making for more efficient use of capital facilities.
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