Prairie Power, Inc. is a member-owned, not-forprofit electric generation and transmission cooperative, which produces and supplies wholesale electricity to 10 electric distribution cooperatives in central Illinois. PPI's distribution cooperatives provide retail electric service to approximately 78,000 consumers within their local service territories. PPI owns and operates approximately 590 miles of transmission lines at 138 kV, 69 kV and 34.5 kV; 141 MW of oil and gas-fired peaking units; and 78 distribution and transmission substations to serve its members.
Covering an area 100 miles north to south, and 50 miles east to west, of Paxton, Illinois, Eastern Illini Electric Cooperative serves 13,500 metered accounts with coal-fired power from Prairie State.
"We had a contract with Ameren, and when that ended, we looked at alternative power," said Brad Ludwig, director of Eastern Illini. "Prairie State looked like a good plan – it had long-term advantages and reasonable prices."
"We wanted to promote Illinois power and achieve stable prices," added Mike Wilson, manager of communications and community relations at Eastern Illini. The co-op is not shy about promoting the benefits of using Illinois coal.
"Prairie State is an excellent example of new coal technology," said Bob Hunzinger, CEO of Eastern Illini. "We have over 500 years of coal reserves. It's a security issue – we don't have to import."
"It's a common sense approach," said Wilson. "By getting clean power from Prairie State, we can be mindful of the environment and better serve our member-owners."