About

W.D. Essmiller

July 19, 1939

Central Kansas Electric Cooperative (CKEC) is incorporated by 20 rural families near Great Bend. W.D. Essmiller is elected Board President, and six other men are elected as directors.

1939

November 18, 1941

The first CKEC-built line is energized, serving 68 customers. Average consumption is 33 kilowatt hours (kWh) per month, at a price of 6 cents per kWh (91 cents in 2014, adjusted for inflation).

1941

1951-1952

In 1951, Jack Goodman is named CKEC’s manager; he served the cooperative until 1992. Today the Goodman Energy Center in Hays is named in his honor. 

Then in 1952, LaVern Becker is elected to the Board; together, Becker and Goodman would lead CKEC to pursue growth and cost control. Becker later served as Board President from 1972-1991.

1951

CKEC Annual Meeting

CKEC Annual Meeting

CKEC has 2,652 miles of line in service to 4,143 customers; average farm consumption grows to 222 kWh per month. Attendance at the 1953 annual meeting reaches 3,000; a record that stands today.

1953

CKEC has 3,155 miles of line in service to 4,708 customers; average farm consumption grows to 445 kWh per month, at a price of 3 cents per kWh (21 cents in 2014, adjusted for inflation).

1963

October 19, 1977

CKEC signs an agreement to purchase the much larger Central Kansas Power, an investor-owned utility in Hays, for $17.5 million. It would take nearly four years for regulators to approve the sale.

1977

CKP Purchase

CKEC Becomes Midwest Energy

The purchase of CKP is finalized; the form of closing resulted in CKEC merging into CKP, with the surviving corporation renamed Midwest Energy. The new company serves more than 30,000 customers.

1981

Midwest Energy has 9,091 miles of electric line in service to 34,472 customers, at a price of 8 cents per kWh (13 cents in 2014, adjusted for inflation). The cooperative had 881 miles of gas pipeline in service, and 12,090 gas customers.

1993

Midwest Grows Again

The company purchases the Kansas natural gas distribution system from KN Energy, Inc., for $24 million, marking the largest single purchase in the company’s history. With the acquisition nearly 31,000 new natural gas customers are added as are 57 employees.

1998

Midwest Energy provides service to 45,311 electric customers, at an average price of 7.6 cents per kWh (10 cents in 2014, adjusted for inflation). The cooperative serves 35,637 gas customers.

2003

Wind Energy

Midwest Energy signs a Purchased Power Agreement to purchase 49 MW of wind energy from the Smoky Hill Wind Farm.

2008

After 15 months of construction, Midwest Energy completes the Goodman Energy Center, a 76-megawatt, natural gas-fueled power plant north of Hays. The plant brings improved reliability to the grid, as more wind farms are added in the area.

2008

Energy Efficiency Award

Energy Efficiency Award

How$mart®, Midwest Energy’s pioneering energy efficiency program, receives the National Rural Electric Cooperative Associations’s prestigious 2012 National Community Service Award for Energy Efficiency.

2012

Self Regulation

Midwest Energy members vote by a 3-1 margin to become a self-regulated cooperative.

Midwest Energy has 11,290 miles of electric line in service to 49,974 customers, at a price of 11 cents per kWh. The cooperative has 2,965 miles of gas pipeline in service, and 42,381 gas customers.

2013

Community Solar

AAA SolarMidwest Energy becomes the first utility in Kansas to offer a community solar option.  A 1-megawatt array of 3,960 member- owned panels entered service on Feb. 1, 2015.

2014

Midwest Energy purchases another 57 megawatts of wind capacity from the Kingman Wind Energy Center, taking the company’s total wind energy supply to 106 megawatts. Annually, more than a quarter of the company’s energy needs come from Kansas wind.

2016

The Goodman Energy Center in Hays is expanded, with three additional natural gas-fueled generating engines added, bringing the plant’s capacity to 102 megawatts.

2016

In August, the company completed the installation of new automated electric and natural gas meters. Known as “AMI” for Automated Metering Infrastructure, the meters send readings via radio signal to towers, replacing the labor-intensive task of sending meter readers out to each site.

2019

Despite a global pandemic, Midwest Energy grows slightly. At the end of the year, the company has 49,665 electric customers, with an average residential electric rate of 10.3 cents per kWh, and 42,003 natural gas customers.

2020
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