Arizona Electric Power Cooperative, ATC Development Co. form ATC Southwest to jointly develop transmission projects in Arizona and southwestern U.S.
BENSON, Arizona – Arizona Electric Power Cooperative (AEPCO) and ATC Development Co., a development branch of Wisconsin-based American Transmission Co. (ATC), have entered into a joint operating agreement to develop needed transmission projects in Arizona and the southwestern United States. The unique partnership is embodied in a new transmission company under the banner of ATC Southwest. www.ATCSouthwest.com
ATC Southwest will benefit electric cooperative members and electric consumers in the Southwest by developing options to help address the demand for an affordable, reliable transmission system.
“Arizona and the Southwest are growing, and we’re already seeing increased demand for power that can only be met if we’re willing to step up and develop the transmission projects that will meet that demand over the next two decades and beyond,” said Patrick Ledger, AEPCO chief executive officer.
“This partnership means both companies can draw on our mutual resources to meet that demand in a way that keeps rates low and reliability high,” Ledger said.
“We are pleased to be partnering with AEPCO and its family of cooperative utilities to address transmission development needs in the region,” said Mike Rowe, president and chief executive officer of ATC Development Co. “We have significant experience working with public power in the Midwest, and we look forward to partnering with public power in the Southwest. ATC Southwest will be adding value through identifying and implementing transmission solutions that deliver reliability, economic and renewable energy benefits in the southwestern United States.”
Both companies bring complementary strengths and experience to this mutually beneficial joint venture. AEPCO, a not-for-profit, member-owned generation and transmission cooperative based in Benson, Arizona, has more than five decades of engineering, constructing, maintaining and operating generation and transmission systems in Arizona. AEPCO’s core business is providing for the low-cost energy needs of rural members and other customers. Additionally, AEPCO has many established relationships with energy providers throughout the southwestern United States that can facilitate future transmission development.
ATC started operations in 2001 as the nation’s first multi-state, transmission-only utility. It provides transmission service to 26 utilities, including 22 cooperative and municipal utilities. ATC is an established and premier leader in transmission development having invested more than $4.1 billion to improve the adequacy and reliability of the transmission infrastructure in the Upper Midwest. ATC’s cost controls, purchasing and benchmarking strategies result in construction cost estimate accuracy that consistently beats the industry average. ATC Development Co. plans to leverage these strengths through the ATC Southwest partnership with AEPCO.
Arizona Electric Power Cooperative and Sierra Southwest collectively make up Arizona G&T Cooperatives. AEPCO owns and operates the 605-megawatt (combined gross) Apache Generating Station, located at Cochise, east of Benson. AEPCO also owns and maintains more than 620 miles of transmission lines and 26 substations to provide wholesale electric power from Apache to six member distribution cooperatives in southern Arizona, western New Mexico, northwestern Arizona and California.
Combined, the distribution cooperatives that receive AEPCO’s wholesale power serve more than 150,000 meters representing more than 400,000 individual residential, commercial, agricultural, and industrial member/consumers.
The Class A member cooperatives that receive wholesale power from AEPCO include Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative, Willcox; Duncan Valley Electric Cooperative, Duncan; Graham County Electric Cooperative, Pima; Trico Electric Cooperative, Marana; Mohave Electric Cooperative; Bullhead City; and Anza Electric Cooperative, Anza, California.
These member cooperatives own the AzGT and, by extension, the G&T Cooperatives are owned by their members—the people at the end of the line who use the power. AEPCO and several of its cooperative members borrow from the Rural Utilities Service, a federal agency.
About ATC Development Co.
ATC Development Co. is the development branch formed by certain owners of American Transmission Co. (ATC) to pursue development outside of ATC’s traditional footprint. ATC is a Wisconsin-based utility that owns and operates the electric transmission system in portions of Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota and Illinois. Formed in 2001 as the nation’s first multi-state transmission-only utility, ATC has invested $4.1 billion to improve the adequacy and reliability of the transmission infrastructure in the Upper Midwest. ATC now owns and operates $4.4 billion in assets, including more than 9,540 miles of transmission lines and 548 substations. Of ATC’s ownership, 12 percent is owned by municipal and cooperative utilities, and 88 percent is owned by investor-owned utilities. www.atcllc.com