At the stroke of midnight on May 1, a new electric power era began for eight communities that are members of the Kentucky Municipal Energy Agency (KYMEA). After decades of purchasing electricity from Kentucky Utilities Company, the Frankfort Plant Board and the municipal electric utilities of Barbourville, Bardwell, Corbin, Falmouth, Madisonville, Paris, and Providence are now being served by KYMEA, the joint public agency they created to obtain lower-cost, reliable electricity for their communities. After years of planning and preparation, the May 1 switch to begin deliveries from the new KYMEA power supply portfolio occurred seamlessly, without so much as a blink in the lights in the thousands of homes served by the members. This “Go-Live” beginning of the new operations marks a major milestone for the communities and their new power supply agency.
The event represents an important step toward achieving KYMEA’s municipal members’ goal of having greater control over their own power supply and associated services, while being able to reduce the costs of the power they provide to their residents and businesses. KYMEA offers wholesale electric power supply, transmission, and power dispatch and planning services to the municipal utilities of its eleven member communities, which include Owensboro Municipal Utilities, Berea and Benham.
KYMEA assembled the initial set of power supply resources to meet its eight All Requirements Project members’ needs at significant wholesale power cost savings compared to their previous power supply arrangement. The Agency practices modern portfolio theory (MPT) when developing its power supply portfolio. The MPT concept draws from a diverse set of environmentally responsible power supply resource options (fuels, technologies, sizing, timing, location, etc.), and focuses on maintaining long-term, low cost, stable rates while minimizing risk. This disciplined power supply planning will help ensure that KYMEA’s members benefit from embarking on this new era for many years to come.
The Agency has achieved a diverse power supply portfolio comprising natural gas-fueled power from Paducah Power System, hydropower from the Southeastern Power Administration, coal-fueled power from Big Rivers Electric Corporation (located in Henderson, Kentucky) and Illinois Power Marketing Company, diesel generation from the City of Paris, and solar power from E.ON Climate and Renewables (located in Lyon County, Kentucky).
The KYMEA members have worked hard to create an Agency that will benefit communities and citizens across Kentucky and create economic development opportunities for many future decades. “They understood there would be many challenges along the way,” said Doug Buresh, President and CEO. “However, the members also knew that by working together, member municipal electric systems could reliably provide power and related services to their customers on a more economical basis than could be provided independently or through other providers.”