The Balance of Power
Carroll Electric Cooperative Corporation, along with other electric distribution cooperatives in Arkansas, are member-owners of Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation (AECC). AECC is a generation and transmission company that supplies wholesale electricity for all 17 distribution co-ops in Arkansas.
AECC maintains a diverse portfolio of energy resources and belongs to two different regional transmission organizations — the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) and the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO). AECC's diverse portfolio includes energy resources such as natural gas, coal, and hydropower that provide dependable and dispatchable baseload electricity 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. The remainder of AECC's energy portfolio includes intermittent wind and solar resources that currently receive federal subsidies which enable these supplementary resources to provide low-cost energy.
According to Buddy Hasten, President and CEO of Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation, the ability to maintain a diverse portfolio of energy resources is being challenged.
"The challenge, especially as power demands increase - and they are - is to constantly balance available power generation resources based on reliability and cost, while also being responsible for the most appropriate use of available resources. That task is becoming increasingly challenging with evolving national, regional and statewide legislative policies, regulations and federal mandates. The current and potential energy policies could adversely impact our ability to deliver an effective, dependable balance of power to our members at an affordable price and in the reliable manner that our members have come to expect from us for almost 100 years."
In order to help everyone understand the strengths and weaknesses of different power sources and how they impact the ability to preserve reliable and affordable electricity, AECC has recently launched a “Balance of Power” campaign to help raise awareness of these issues.
Similar to Carroll Electric's "On the Record" newsletter, AECC is also aiming to better inform the public of the various challenges faced when trying to maintain a diverse power supply for the cooperatives in Arkansas.