Electricity Markets

Iowa’s Atlantic Municipal Utilities Enters Capacity Agreement With Missouri River Energy Services

The Missouri River Energy Services (MRES) board recently approved a new capacity purchase agreement with Iowa’s Atlantic Municipal Utilities (AMU).

The structure of the agreement is similar to the reserved capacity agreements that MRES has in place with 19 other members, MRES noted in the January issue of its MRES Today newsletter.

These agreements offer a win-win solution to a member’s reliability needs and MRES’ capacity needs by utilizing the members’ local generation resources for backup capacity, MRES said.

Through these purchase power agreements, MRES can call upon member generators to run and supply energy to the regional electric grid during times when other resources cannot meet customer needs.

During the 2021 polar vortex, six MRES members within the Southwest Power Pool’s footprint were called on to generate electricity to help keep the lights on in their communities and throughout the region, MRES pointed out.

In addition, reserved capacity agreements allow MRES member utilities to run their generators and supply power to their customers during other times of emergency, including outages caused by severe weather or random accidents that damage powerlines.

As part of the agreement, MRES pays the member a monthly fee in exchange for making the local generating capacity available to MRES for its use.

This mutually beneficial arrangement can help MRES and its members meet their capacity requirements, while helping participating members add local backup generation to increase the reliability of their operations, MRES noted in the newsletter.

Due to transmission limitations, the maximum amount of capacity that a member can install under this program is equal to the member’s peak demand.

MRES is an organization of 61 member municipalities that own and operate their own electric distribution systems. MRES is governed by a 13-member board of directors who are elected by and from the ranks of our member representatives.