December 2014

Happy Holidays!

From Team SEMO to you and your family, we wish you a safe holiday season. We appreciate your support of SEMO Electric Cooperative and it is our pleasure to help keep your lights on 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year. It is my hope we all find a moment during the holiday season to reflect on the reason for the season.

Community Solar Farm

Solar energy has become more popular in recent years as more people are looking for renewable sources of energy. To provide SEMO Electric Cooperative’s member-consumers the opportunity to have their own solar panels without having to install equipment on their property, SEMO Electric Cooperative is considering developing a community solar farm. Interested? We want to know.

The community solar farm, a land area where multiple solar panels are installed, may be an easy and affordable way for members to purchase solar energy for their home or small business. Members would purchase the output of one or more panels and receive a kilowatt-hour (kWh) credit on their energy bill each month. The credit is based on the number of panels the member has contracted for, as well as the amount of the energy produced by the solar array each month. The cost per kWh may be about five cents higher than SEMO Electric’s current rate.

There are at least 38 co-ops in 21 states that have developed or are planning community solar. Community solar fulfills consumer demand and, at the same time, helps diversify the fuel portfolio and build new community partnerships. And it's a flexible model that can be expanded as demand grows.

There are many details – including cost, size and location – that need to be defined to create a business model for SEMO Electric – a nonprofit cooperative – to offer community solar to our members. However, SEMO Electric’s board of directors is curious if member-consumers would like to learn more about a community solar farm by attending an informational open house. If you have interest in a community solar farm, please call SEMO Electric at 800-813-5230 and ask for Marla. Or send us an email at [email protected]. To learn more about solar, please visit www.nreca.coop/solar.

2015 Energy Costs

SEMO Electric Cooperative’s residential base charge – service availability – will increase a flat $2 per month in 2015. The co-op’s charge per unit of energy – kWh – will remain the same. For most other service classifications, there will be incremental increases in monthly charges and, in some cases, demand charges may increase up to $1 per KW. Please see the chart on the front page. All adjustments will be reflected on bill statements due February 10, 2015.

Power Plant Tour        

Thank you to our cooperative friends at the New Madrid Power Plant for an interesting plant tour. Each time I visit the plant, I learn more and continue to be amazed at the cleanliness of the facility. Here are six interesting facts about the plant: 1) the plant employs 193 area residents; 2) it takes about a ton of coal to make a megawatt/hour (about the same amount of electricity consumed by about 1,000 homes in an hour ); 3) the plant uses about 4.6 million tons of coal each year; 4) there are 12 miles of boiler tube; 5) some of the piping is five inches thick and costs about $450 per inch; and 6) the plant’s staff works hard to keep electricity safe, reliable and affordable.

Sean’s Shout-outs

Shout-outs to Associated Electric Cooperative’s Roger Neumeyer, Matt Hanson and Laurie Duff; Senator Wayne Wallingford, Representative Donna Lichtenegger and Representative Lyndall Fraker; Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives’  Zach Pollock and Mary Scruggs; and SEMO Electric member-consumers Jerry Menz and Paul Morrow.

Be smart. Act safe.

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