Bringing renewable energy to the everyday consumer
Western Farmers Electric Cooperative (WFEC, OEC's wholesale power supplier), generates electricity from several different sources, including renewables. While the power WFEC produces might not be what powers your particular home, it's important to know how the process works.
Federal regulations dictate the amounts and sources by which electricity is produced. As a result, WFEC's portfolio includes a healthy dose of renewables — a staggering 45 percent of power produced in October came from its multiple wind farm and hydro plant contracts. However, WFEC is just one generation company among many in the Southwest Power Pool (SPP). It sells the electricity it generates to SPP then purchases the amount needed to power the homes and businesses of its co-ops' members, including you. The sources of the power it purchases might not always be an accurate reflection of what it generates.
In 2016, up to 31 percent of the electricity WFEC purchased from SPP came from a renewable source, such as wind, hydro, solar or biomass. This number is expected to increase when the 2017 numbers are released and — with more solar facilities scheduled to go online in 2018 — will continue to increase.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, coal remains the most inexpensive source by which to produce electricity. As the Environmental Protection Agency continues to closely monitor and regulate coal powered plants, generation facilities must find alternative sources, which could increase production costs and, therefore, the consumer's per-kilowatt hour cost.
So, how much of your power actually comes from renewable energy sources? The answer can be tricky. Both OEC and WFEC strive to provide members with reliable electricity, whatever the source may be. We continually implement environmentally-friendly programs our members can proudly take part in.
You can keep up with WFEC's generation mix each month on this page (see chart to the right). You may also view real-time generation output and environmental benefits of OEC's Solar Garden by visiting www.okcoop.org/solar.
Visit www.okcoop.org to learn more about our renewable energy efforts.