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  Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative  
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Wildcat Point Generation Facility


(CHASE CITY) To meet its members’ growing need for affordable, environmentally balanced and reliable electricity, Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative’s power supplier, Old Dominion Electric Cooperative (ODEC), has announced it will seek approval to construct a state-of-the-art natural gas-fueled electric generation facility in Cecil County, Maryland.

Named the Wildcat Point Generation Facility for a popular cliff along the nearby Susquehanna River, the plant will provide Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative (MEC) and ODEC’s 10 other member distribution cooperatives, and their respective member-owners, reliable access to affordable power at a time of growing energy needs. The combined cycle facility will be powered by natural gas, a clean and domestically plentiful fuel used to create electricity.

Wildcat Point is expected to become operational in 2017 and generate approximately 1,000 megawatts of electricity, enough to serve 390,000 homes annually. The proposed combined cycle facility will be built five miles west of the Town of Rising Sun, Maryland, on a site adjacent to two simple cycle peaking generation units owned by ODEC at the Rock Springs Generation Facility.

ODEC is a not-for-profit provider of wholesale power owned by Mecklenburg Electric and 10 other member distribution cooperatives in Maryland, Virginia, and Delaware that serve approximately 1.2 million people. Over the past 10 years, ODEC’s members have experienced growth in electricity sales of over 26%, and additional growth is projected over the next decade. Most of this increasing need is currently met through a combination of contracts and market purchases.

“MEC’s members utilized more kilowatt hours last month than any other April in the cooperative’s history,” states MEC President and CEO John Lee, adding “Despite our successful energy efficiency efforts such as “Beat the Peak,” our heat pump load management switch program, our ongoing emphasis on using energy wisely, as well as, the ongoing lack of growth in new memberships…overall, electricity usage by our cooperative’s members continues to grow.” 

In response to these challenges, ODEC issued a Request for Proposals in 2012 for long-term power supply options. After the careful and detailed evaluation of approximately 80 proposals, representing a wide variety of asset and power purchase contract options, ODEC and its Board of Directors determined that expanding at the Rock Springs location is the most reliable and competitively priced option. Jack E. Reasor, Jr., president & CEO of ODEC, says, “We are committed to efficiently and economically meeting the needs of our members. The construction of this state-of-the-art, environmentally sound facility will allow us to do just that and ensure our members have access to reliable, affordable and locally produced power well into the future.”

Lee, who also serves as chairman of the ODEC Board of Directors’ Power Supply Committee that has strategic oversight over ODEC’s task of generating or purchasing wholesale power for its members, continues by saying, “The decision to build new generation is not one that is taken lightly; it is a long-term, capital intensive commitment. With that said, the Wildcat Point facility will be powered by clean natural gas, it will reduce our dependence on wholesale power purchases, provide additional fuel diversity in our generation portfolio, fill a void for intermediate load capabilities, and, most importantly, give us ongoing protection from exposure to wildly fluctuating market prices for electricity. This power station will yield long-term benefits for Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative (MEC) members by effectively addressing those matters and providing us an efficient, cost effective and environmentally sensitive source of power for years to come.”

MEC Board Chairman David Jones, who also serves on the ODEC Board of Directors, adds, “ODEC has a proven track record of producing safe, reliable, affordable and responsible power for our cooperative. The decision to construct this facility is yet another substantial commitment to meet the current and future needs of MEC’s members. ODEC, like MEC, serves and answers only to its members; and everything done there is guided by what is in their best interests. We have great confidence in ODEC and their dedication in effectively meeting our cooperative’s wholesale power needs.”

ODEC’s generation resources also include considerable renewable energy sources. In fact, for more than 50 years, prior to them becoming a national focus or requirement, ODEC’s members have utilized renewable energy sources, including hydroelectric power (76 megawatts), landfill gas (8.9 megawatts), and wind energy (264 megawatts). Renewables currently comprise approximately 5 percent of its power supply portfolio in 2013.

Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative is the not-for-profit consumer-owned energy provider to over 31,000 homes, farms and businesses located in portions of the counties of Brunswick, Charlotte, Greensville, Halifax, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Pittsylvania, Southampton, and Sussex.  It is headquartered in Chase City with district offices in Chase City, Emporia and Gretna.

MEC, along with 10 other electric distribution cooperatives in Virginia, Maryland and Delaware, own ODEC and provide strategic leadership through two representatives each on ODEC’s Board of Directors. Currently representing MEC on the ODEC Board are MEC Board Chairman David Jones and President and CEO John Lee.

For more information, visit www.meckelec.org and/or www.ODEC.com.

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