Members can get more green into the power they use by purchasing Green Power through Cuivre River's power supply network. You can order by Earth Day, April 22, and secure a portion of the wind power generated in our region for delivery to the power grid for you over the next 12 months.
As Cuivre River's Green Power program marks its 12th anniversary, Manager of Administrative Services Kevin Hurd reflects on today's dynamic renewable energy marketplace. "When we started our program affordable options to support renewable energy were very limited," he says. Cuivre River's program, one of the first in Missouri, remains one of the largest in the state today.
"For an extra 2.5¢ per kilowatt-hour (kwh), our Green Power program remains a very affordable opportunity to purchase wind power with no investment, simply a 12-month commitment," he says. Members can order blocks of 100 kwhs of electricity generated by wind farms in our region. A single 100 kwh block costs an extra $30/year.
Wind energy is delivered to the cooperative grid each day it is available, at a fixed price per kwh that is higher than traditional energy. Other energy resources vary in price each day and are used when they are the most affordable option. (See 2015 Resource Summary.) "Since wind energy is more costly, we give members a choice about how much they want to secure for their own energy use," says Hurd. "We work to keep our wholesale power costs as low as possible for all of our members."
Cuivre River members purchase 38,600 kwhs of Green Power each month, representing annual sales of 463,200 kwhs — enough energy to power 29 homes for one year*.
Hurd is often asked why Green Power is more expensive. A key reason: most renewable resources are not available on demand. Power generated by these facilities must be backed by other generation resources to maintain a steady, reliable power supply. In addition, they are more difficult and costly to convert into usable electricity for delivery to the power grid.
Hurd says members' needs for affordable energy often trump the added cost. "Many members have worked to capture the 'greenest' kwhs of all - the ones they save by improving home energy efficiency," he adds. (See "Invest in Efficiency" on following page for some simple efficiency improvements.)
Although all kwhs look the same once they enter the transmission network, when Cuivre River members purchase Green Power, energy from renewable resources is delivered to the utility grid for them. "We cannot guarantee that the same electrons which leave a wind farm are delivered to your meter. However, we can guarantee that the amount you order will be delivered onto our power grid for you," says Hurd.
Members who wish to participate in open enrollment should place orders by April 22. Suppliers require three months' advance notice. New participants will begin receiving their Green Power July 1, and for the next 12 months. The extra cost, $2.50 per 100 kwh block, will begin to appear on your July electric bill. Multiple blocks may be purchased.
"Renewable energy advocates who want to generate energy by installing residential solar or wind systems for their homes face much higher costs," says Hurd. However, they do receive credit for any excess power they deliver to the grid. Cuivre River does not provide renewable energy incentives, but does provide information about net metering and Missouri's Easy Connect Act.
To enroll in Cuivre River's Green Power program call Manager of Member Services and IT Chris Ryan at (800) 392-3709.
For general information about renewable energy, visit dnr.mo.gov. For a copy of Cuivre River's guidelines to connect private residential wind or solar energy projects to the utility grid, contact Neal Harrell, (800) 392-3709.
*Based on 1,325 kwhs/month average 2015 residential use.