On May 17, 2010, the National Renewable Cooperative Organization (NRCO) announced (PDF) separate power purchase agreements (PPAs) signed by two of its members, Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) and Old Dominion Electric Cooperative (ODEC), and E.ON Climate & Renewables North America. This agreement marks the first project facilitated by the newly-formed NRCO. Under the PPAs, the co-ops have agreed to purchase the energy and associated environmental attributes for the next 18 years from the Stony Creek Wind Project, which has a nameplate capacity of 52.5 MWs.
The following is a statement by Glenn English, CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, on the new cooperative’s inaugural project.
“This week’s announcement by the National Renewable Cooperative Organization (NRCO) marks the culmination of more than two years of planning and cooperation among 24 co-ops from 20 states. The Power Purchase Agreements announced today by Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative and Old Dominion Electric Cooperative are the first in what we believe will be a long and diverse list of renewable power projects facilitated by the NRCO.
“Electric cooperatives have aggressively pursued developing renewable energy resources. In both 2007 and 2008, cooperatives have increased purchased and owned renewable energy capacity by 61 percent and 65 percent respectively. Since the creation of Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREB) in 2005, electric cooperatives have submitted 85 applications for a total of $554 million in bond authority to develop renewable energy projects. In this time, co-ops have built a foundation of knowledge and experience, now consolidated at the NRCO. With the creation of this new cooperative organization, co-ops in regions where renewable resources are scant can also participate in renewable energy development. The entire cooperative network will benefit from having a go-to source for expert advice on renewable energy.”