Electric Co-ops Help Power the Co-op 100

Twenty-two of the top 100 co-ops are electric utilities

Buckeye Power’s Cardinal Power Plant in Brilliant, Ohio. (Photo By: Buckeye Power)
Buckeye Power’s Cardinal Power Plant in Brilliant, Ohio. (Photo By: Buckeye Power)

Electric cooperatives are a force to be reckoned with. All you have to do is look at the 2018 edition of National Cooperative Bank’s Co-op 100 List, where you’ll find 22 electric co-ops, two more than in both 2016 and 2017.

Released during October’s annual Co-op Month, the Co-op 100 List covers not only energy but other industries including agriculture and finance. All totaled, the 100 co-ops posted 2017 revenues of more than $214 billion, which Charles E. Snyder, NCB president and CEO, said emphasizes that “the economic impact of cooperatives is critical to our economy.”

“Cooperatives can be seen in just about every industry across America, including local food, finance, housing and energy,” said Snyder. “Whether it is bringing affordable homeownership through a housing cooperative, fresh local food through a food co-op or electricity through a rural electric co-op, cooperatives strengthen communities.”

Among this year’s electric co-op honorees is Buckeye Power, No. 81 on the list with $674 million in revenues.

“Buckeye Power’s success is a direct result of the success of our 25 member-owner cooperatives. Strong cooperatives support strong communities, and we’re very proud to contribute to that strength all across Ohio,” said Patrick O’Loughlin, Buckeye Power president and CEO.

North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives is No. 49 on the list with revenues of more than $1 billion.

“Our inclusion in the Co-op 100 demonstrates that North Carolina’s electric cooperatives are making a significant contribution to our economy and the people and communities we serve,” said Joe Brannan, CEO of North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives. “Our strong network of 26 electric cooperatives has long been an economic driver for our state, particularly our rural areas, and we are proud to continue investing in innovative programs and initiatives that help support economic prosperity and high quality of life.”

Once again, Basin Electric Power Cooperative in Bismarck, North Dakota, led the energy sector. NCB put it at No. 15 on the list with reported 2017 revenue of nearly $2.27 billion.

Co-op lenders CoBank and the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corp. (CFC) made the list as well, with revenues of $3.3 billion (No. 11) and $1 billion (No. 48), respectively.

And the overall No. 1 co-op on the list remains CHS, a global agribusiness firm that supplies everything from animal feed to risk management services, with revenues of $31.9 billion.

Michael W. Kahn is a staff writer at NRECA.