SMECO Agrees to Purchase Power from BP's Mehoopany Wind Farm - Southern Maryland Headline News

SMECO Agrees to Purchase Power from BP's Mehoopany Wind Farm


CARMEL, Ind., July 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/—The National Renewables Cooperative Organization (NRCO) announced the successful completion of two purchase power agreements between NRCO Members and BP Wind Energy. This transaction represents the second renewable energy project that NRCO has vetted, recommended, and negotiated on behalf of its member cooperatives.

Under separate purchased power agreements (PPAs), Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative Inc. (SMECO), a customer-owned electric utility based in Hughesville, MD, and Old Dominion Electric Cooperative (ODEC), a Glen Allen, VA-based cooperative that supplies wholesale power to 11 member distribution cooperatives in Virginia, Maryland and Delaware, have agreed to purchase energy and associated environmental attributes for the next 20 years from the Mehoopany Wind Farm in Wyoming County, Pennsylvania. The project, to be constructed, owned, and operated by BP Wind Energy, is slated to have a nameplate capacity of 144 MWs. The facility is expected to achieve commercial operations in late 2012. SMECO has contracted to purchase 30 MWs or about 21% of the facility's output, while ODEC will purchase 75 MWs or 52% of the energy.

"NRCO has once again brought together two of our members in the joint subscription of another wind project. We are proud of our members' dedication to incorporating affordable renewable energy into their portfolios and we are confident this latest project makes a valuable addition," said Amadou Fall, CEO of NRCO. NRCO functions as a clearinghouse for renewable development opportunities while aggregating its members' renewable energy needs. NRCO and its member cooperatives, which include G&T and distribution cooperatives with over 39,000 MWs of generation and serving 11 million electric customers in the United States, are pioneers in the concept of bringing together power supply and distribution cooperatives from different regions of the country to access large-scale renewable projects located throughout the continental United States.

Austin J. Slater, Jr., SMECO president and CEO, said, "Our investment in renewable energy gives our customer-members something they have been looking for: clean energy at an affordable rate. As good stewards of the environment, we like the clean and renewable aspects of wind energy. As good stewards of our cooperative organization, we like the affordable rates this wind farm project provides for our customer-members."

Slater added, "We have worked with NRCO to acquire additional renewable energy resources, and their professionalism and expertise has guided us through fruitful and beneficial negotiations."

"We are pleased to add the Mehoopany Wind Project to our portfolio of purchased-power resources," said Jack Reasor, president and CEO of Old Dominion Electric Cooperative. "We greatly appreciate NRCO's efforts in facilitating this agreement—NRCO does a superb job helping electric cooperatives across the nation find and secure economically viable renewable-energy resources. The Mehoopany Wind Farm agreement is yet another example of the cooperative business philosophy and how electric cooperatives can work together for the best interests of their consumer members."

"Today's announcement is testimony to the team at NRCO for their successful delivery of PPA negotiations on behalf of their member cooperatives SMECO and ODEC," said John Graham, president and CEO, BP Wind Energy. "These agreements mark a milestone in the development of the Mehoopany Wind Farm and we look forward to making our first investment in a wind project in the state of Pennsylvania."

About NRCO:

Cooperatives across the country formed the National Renewables Cooperative Organization (NRCO) to promote and facilitate the development of renewable energy resources for its members. NRCO's main purposes are to facilitate the cost-effective, joint development of renewable resources nationwide for its cooperative owners, helping its owners meet the requirements of voluntary and mandatory Renewable Energy Standards (RES).

Membership in the NRCO is open to generation and transmission cooperatives (G&Ts) and distribution cooperatives that have the legal ability to buy power in the wholesale market. Members located in areas that may not have renewable resources can participate in projects across the United States through renewable projects originated and/or developed by NRCO. For more information, please visit www.nrco.coop.

About ODEC:

Old Dominion Electric Cooperative (ODEC) is a generation-and-transmission cooperative that provides wholesale power to 11 member electric distribution cooperatives in Virginia, Maryland and Delaware. ODEC and its member systems are not-for-profit electric cooperative that are owned by the consumer-members they serve. For more information, please visit www.odec.com.

About SMECO:

SMECO is a customer-owned electric distribution cooperative based in Hughesville, MD and serving 150,000 customers. SMECO serves southern Prince George's County, Charles County, St. Mary's County, and all but the northeast portion of Calvert County. SMECO contracts with wholesale power providers to meet the energy needs of its members. For more information on SMECO visit www.smeco.coop.

About BP Wind Energy:

BP Wind Energy is a principal owner and operator of wind power facilities with interests in 13 wind farms. BP Wind Energy has a gross installed capacity of nearly 1600 MW – enough electricity to power approximately 500,000 average American homes. For more information, visit the company's Web site at http://www.bpalternativenergy.com.

Source: National Renewables Cooperative Organization

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