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This content was featured in the April 2024 Kansas Country Living Centerspread.

 

Prairie Land’s mission is to improve the quality of life for our members and support our communities by providing safe, reliable energy services and education. Essentially, POWER TO MAKE LIFE BETTER.

Without electricity, our lives would be greatly different than they are today. Think about all the electrical devices we use in a single day. In the absence of electricity, there are no lights, refrigerators, air conditioners, smartphones, computers, grain augers, welders and the list goes on and on. But what is Prairie Land doing to improve upon what you already have? By fulfilling our essential duty of providing safe and reliable power and educating our members about electrical safety, we also strive to exemplify what electric cooperatives are about and how we serve our communities along the way.

 

SAFETY

Safety is truly our number one goal, not only for our employees but for our member-owners, as well as the public at large. You may be asking yourself, “How does my electric cooperative achieve such a goal?” Over the past few years, Prairie Land has done the following to keep us on track to ensure we keep safety front and center:

•Increased our public awareness of safety concerns through content published on our social media outlets, on our website and in the Kansas Country Living magazine.

•Built a high-voltage safety demonstration unit used to educate our local communities on the importance of safety around power lines.

•Continued to focus on training our employees to look for opportunities to keep our electric distribution system safe for those who live, work and play in the communities we serve.

•Conducted monthly safety meetings and daily job briefings, which serve as constant reminders to ensure our lineworkers return home safely to their families each night.

 

RELIABILITY

Providing reliable power to our member-owners is and will always be a priority for Prairie Land. Our team at Prairie Land Electric is always looking ahead, exploring ways to innovate and use new technologies to improve our services. As our nation increasingly relies on electricity to power the economy, keeping the lights on has never been more important.

One critical component of reliable power is the mix of energy resources used to generate the electricity that keeps the lights on across our territory. Prairie Land Electric doesn’t generate electricity; instead, we purchase it from our generation and transmission provider, Sunflower Electric Power Corporation. Sunflower’s diversified generation assets help ensure adequate power supply, not only to our members but also to our region. Holcomb Station, a coal-based unit, along with other gas-fired generation assets, provides reliable base load generation to meet its member’s needs. Sunflower also has renewable generation in its portfolio to bring diversity and to take advantage of favorable pricing with wind and solar units. While we are using increasingly more electricity generated from renewable energy sources, we still focus on keeping a diverse energy mix to ensure reliable power that’s available to our members whenever they need it.

In addition to managing a reliable energy mix, Prairie Land Electric is using technology to enhance our local grid, limit service disruptions and improve outage response times. Advanced metering technology (AMI) enables twoway communication between the co-op and a consumer-member’s meter. In the event of a power outage, AMI helps pinpoint the exact location of the outage and can even analyze damaged or tampered meters. AMI helps Prairie Land Electric save money with real-time data and ultimately improves power reliability for our entire community.

Maintaining our electric distribution system, or grid, is essential in providing a reliable and resilient system. In other words, when you flip the light switch, the lights turn on. Through continued system upgrades, equipment replacements and proper line and vegetation management practices, we can ensure our system will function to minimize the number of members affected by unanticipated system interruptions.

 

POWERING OUR COMMUNITIES

Prairie Land Electric Cooperative was created to serve our community. Back in the day, neighbors banded together and formed our co-op for the common good. In our case, it was the only way the community could bring electricity to the area where there was none. In doing so, Prairie Land Electric Cooperative helped the community thrive. That mission-focused heritage is still at the core of our existence.

Today, we are continuing to power the communities we serve. While our focus has remained steady on providing reliable energy to our members, today’s energy landscape and consumer expectations are far different than they were decades ago. That’s why we’re adapting to keep pace with changing technology, evolving needs and new expectations.

For example, if you’re considering a rooftop solar installation, an electric vehicle or a backup generator, Prairie Land would be happy to give you an unbiased view of the pros and cons of each. When investing in new technologies, it is important to fully understand the costs, responsibilities and potential energy savings. While some technology suppliers have one objective, to sell their products and services, Prairie Land, which is owned by members like you, looks at the bigger energy picture to help you determine the best option for your individual situation. We truly want to be your trusted energy expert.

As we turn our focus to 2024, Prairie Land is determined to keep adapting to the future while maintaining our unwavering commitment to our members. Prairie Land will continue to dedicate all its resources to improving the quality of life for our members and supporting our communities by providing safe, reliable energy services and education.