Cloverland Electric Cooperative announced the launch of a new generation and transmission (G&T) organization called American Rural Cooperative Power (ARC Power) in November 2021. The primary long-term benefits of ARC Power will be stabilizing power supply costs and managing future rate increases for Cloverland and future members of ARC Power. In the short term, the formation of ARC Power allows Cloverland to manage existing generation while positioning the cooperative to capitalize on additional infrastructure opportunities. With the passing of the federal infrastructure bill, funding is available for renewable development including solar and wind farm projects, and local infrastructure improvements such as broadband, smart grid, and electric vehicle infrastructure.
Additional benefits from ARC Power include managing renewable energy projects from design to completion, transporting energy to provide flexibility and participation on a larger scale, and integrating multiple sources to create a balanced and blended approach to renewables and energy deployment. As a separate non-profit cooperative power supply entity, Cloverland and other future members of ARC Power will have flexibility with all forms of energy production and transport and broadband on a national scale.
“We are excited about our new venture as it allows us to be creative and proactive about the management and stabilization of power supply costs,” said Cloverland’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Michael Heise. “It provides for an opportunity for us to be ‘shovel-ready’ as infrastructure dollars become available.”
ARC Power also captures one of the key objectives of Michigan’s U.P. Energy Task Force encouraging all Upper Peninsula electric providers to participate in a region-wide electric plan. According to the Task Force, this planning effort should encompass all aspects of the U.P.’s electric supply, including forecasting electricity demand, evaluating the U.P.’s generation needs, and assessing grid reliability while mapping utility service territories and identifying opportunities and incentives for collaboration amongst providers.
“Cloverland believes the best way to manage energy needs is through collaboration,” said Heise. “As a result, the cooperative is taking the initiative to move the Task Force’s objective forward with ARC Power.”
The launch of ARC Power provides an entity allowing rapid collaboration among local school districts, tribal entities, investor-owned utilities, other cooperatives, developers, economic development corporations, government, and more.
“ARC Power allows flexibility in the management and improvement or advancement of our generation resources,” said Cloverland’s Director of Generation, Roger Line. “As an energy authority for the Upper Peninsula, ARC Power provides a great resource for long-term generation, and system-reliability planning.”
Cloverland will leverage existing staff and resources for this entity that will be a separate cooperative organization. Cloverland’s management team has the expertise and knowledge to best manage power supply needs to drive economics and sound deployment of energy resources.
There are currently 62 G&T cooperatives across the United States serving 833 distribution cooperatives powering 42 million consumers nationwide. Forming a G&T organization provides Cloverland power supply flexibility to manage its future energy needs. Cloverland Electric’s purchased power contract extends to 2029, but with upcoming availability of federal dollars, the opportunity for funding infrastructure projects is critical within the next two years. The creation of ARC Power allows for greater flexibility incorporating viable long term power supply contracts into Cloverland Electric’s unique energy needs.
Cloverland Electric Cooperative is a not-for-profit, member-owned utility located in Michigan’s Eastern Upper Peninsula. With over 4,000 miles of line and 43,000 meters, Cloverland serves 34,000 residential, commercial and industrial members in Chippewa, Mackinac, Luce, Schoolcraft and Delta counties. Cloverland’s mission is delivering exceptional services through the generation and safe delivery of reliable and affordable energy solutions that encourage growth, foster innovation, and strengthen the communities we serve.
ARC Power F.A.Qs
American Rural Cooperative Power (ARC Power) is a new electric generation and transmission organization, which can generate, purchase, sell and transmit electric energy for its members. As a cooperative, ARC Power will work to manage wholesale and retail electricity assets for its members. ARC Power is a separate non-profit cooperative entity from Cloverland Electric Cooperative, which is considered a distribution organization
ARC Power’s mission is to provide its member’s competitively priced stable power supply costs, manage generation and work on infrastructure improvements such as renewable generation, broadband, smart grids and electric vehicle infrastructure. ARC Power will allow it’s members such as Cloverland to be creative and proactive about the energy future by creating an opportunity to be “shovel-ready” for infrastructure dollars that are currently available.
ARC Power will leverage Cloverland’s existing staff and resources. Cloverland’s management team has expertise and knowledge to best manage power supply needs and drive economic and sound development of energy resources.
Over the past few years, Cloverland’s staff has been working closely with the Board of Directors through the strategic planning process to determine ways to best mitigate the projected impact of steep increases the current power supply provider has provided. ARC Power will work to stabilize power supply costs long-term, manage future rate increases for Cloverland members, and leverage expertise to generate other potential revenue streams. That will be done through securing and constructing new regional generation, with a preference to renewable based, which currently is not allowable under Cloverland’s long term power supply contract. Additionally, ARC Power can participate in other infrastructure improvements such as broadband, transmission assets, and electric vehicle infrastructure that benefit Cloverland members.
ARC Power will be a self-funded and self-sustaining organization. As a not-for-profit cooperative, ARC Power will disperse its profits in the form of capital credits to its membership, like the organizational nature of Cloverland Electric Cooperative.
ARC Power fulfills one of the key objectives of Michigan’s UP Energy Task Force which encouraged all UP electric providers to participate in a region wide electric plan. ARC Power will work to forecast electricity demand, evaluate the UP’s generation needs and assess grid reliability while also identifying opportunities and incentives for collaboration amongst entities such as school districts, tribal governments, investor-owned utilities, cooperatives utilities, municipal utilities, generation developers, economic development organizations, local governments and more.