On January 1, 2020, the two electric utilities that provide wholesale generation and transmission services to Prairie Land Electric Cooperative, Inc. were merged. As a result, Mid-Kansas Electric Company, Inc. was incorporated into Sunflower Electric Power Corporation.
In 2005, Sunflower and its Members, including Prairie Land Electric, chose to form Mid-Kansas to successfully bid on the sale of Aquila’s Kansas Electric Network assets. The acquisition essentially doubled the electric generation capability and the miles of transmission line in the system. The acquisition also meant that more Kansans were served by the electric cooperative business model, which puts ownership and governance in the hands of the electric consumer versus private stockholders.
In addition to added electric load, the acquisition also brought diverse generation resources, and the enhanced utilization of the two fleets benefitted both Mid-Kansas and the native Sunflower system. Beginning in 2007, the two systems were jointly planned and operated.
However, since the formation of Mid-Kansas, the goal of Sunflower’s and Mid-Kansas’ member-owners was to capitalize on the synergies of both utilities by merging them into one larger cooperatively-owned and operated utility.
In addition to other work for the merger, regulatory filings were submitted in August 2018 to the Kansas Corporation Commission, which approved the merger in March 2019. Sunflower and Mid-Kansas also filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to obtain approval to combine transmission zones and rates.
So, what are the benefits of this merger? At the wholesale level, merging removes regulatory and operational duplication, allows access to lower-cost debt, and better absorbs a fluctuating load that occurs due to industry and economic pressures.
At Prairie Land Electric Cooperative, Inc., we take pride in our long history of serving our members, but we also take pride in being innovative so that we can best meet our members’ current and future energy demands. Your well-being and quality of life are considered in each decision made at the Board table, and the decision by Prairie Land Electric and the other member-owners of Sunflower and Mid-Kansas to merge the two utilities is just one more example of our commitment to taking care of you.
For more information on the merger, visit https://www.sunflower.net/sunflower-electric-power-corp-and-mid-kansas-electric-company-merge/