March 15, 2007

Tri-County Adding Wind Farm as Electricity Supplier

Tri-County Electric Cooperative will soon be using wind power to help meet its membersí electricity needs. The source is Missouriís first utility-scale wind farm, Bluegrass Ridge, located just north of King City in Gentry County.

Tri-County Electric Cooperative member services staff met March 1 with project developer Tom Carnahan to get a first-hand look at the 57-megawatt facility and were briefed about the technology the wind farm uses.

Bluegrass Ridge is the first of three wind farms in northwest Missouri resulting from a partnership among a unique three-tiered system of electric cooperatives that includes Tri-County Electric Cooperative; Carnahanís St. Louis-based Wind Capital Group; and John Deere Wind Energy, a unit of Deere & Co.

Bluegrass Ridge is expected to begin commercial operation in spring 2007. Construction recently began on a second wind farm, the Cow Branch Wind Energy Project in Atchison County. Cow Branch and a third wind farm in Nodaway County are expected to be complete by year-end 2007.

Combined, the three farms could produce more than 150 MW. Thatís enough power for about 45,000 homes.

Tri-County Electric Cooperative receives power supply from Northeast Power Electric Cooperative. That power supply is generated by Associated Electric Cooperative Inc. (AECI), the wholesale power supplier for six regional and 51 local rural electric cooperative systems in Missouri, southeast Iowa and northeast Oklahoma. AECI will buy all the electricity produced by the wind farms for the next 20 years.

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