Launching ARC Power to Manage Future Energy Needs

Posted: January 10, 2022, 11:51 am

In December 2021, Cloverland Electric Cooperative announced the launch of a new generation and transmission (G&T) organization called American Rural Cooperative Power (ARC Power). Initially, Cloverland will leverage existing staff and resources for this entity that will be a separate cooperative organization. We are fortunate to have a management team with the expertise and knowledge to best manage power supply needs to drive economics and sound deployment of energy resources.

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.

ARC Power allows us to be creative and proactive about the management and stabilization of power supply costs. 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. 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.

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.