IMEA Electricity Management Services
The IMEA is a joint action agency formed in 1984 by its member municipalities in accordance with the provisions of the Illinois Municipal Code. Its stated purpose is to jointly plan finance, own and operate facilities for the generation and transmission of electric power in order to provide for the current and projected energy needs of the purchasing members.
Energy Procurement and Generation
IMEA accomplishes its purpose by procuring power using a diversified portfolio that includes:
- Ownership stakes in generation projects, such as its 15% ownership of two 800 MW supercritical units at the Prairie State Generating Company in southern Illinois and its 12.12% ownership in Trimble County 1 (a 514 MW coal-fired unit) and Trimble County 2 (a 750 MW super-critical, pulverized coal-fired unit) located between Louisville and Cincinnati.
- Member-owned and Agency-owned natural gas and diesel-fired generating units that can be called on in times of emergency or when it is economically advantageous.
- Execution of long-term energy contracts, including a long-term, cost-based system firm energy contract with a major regional power supplier for up to 250 MW, which runs until 2035.
In 2009, the IMEA Board of Directors adopted a policy that directs the agency to acquire
approximately five percent of its energy requirements from renewable resources. Toward that goal, IMEA has entered into a long-term contract to purchase 70MW of wind energy from the
Lee-DeKalb wind project owned by FPL Energy Illinois Wind, LLC. The contract runs through 2030.
Operational and Technical Support
Many IMEA departments work together to offer Members state-of-the-art operational and technical services.
IMEA maintains a 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week, state-of the art Operations Center staffed by highly skilled power supply professionals. The Operations Department alerts local officials of power dips and outages and works with the Members and representatives from regional transmission-owning utilities serving the area to identify the exact location of downed lines or malfunctioning equipment and rectify the problem. In extreme conditions, IMEA Operations Center staff will assist the coordinators of the Illinois Municipal Utilities Association’s Mutual Aid Program in identifying systems in need of assistance from crews from other member municipalities and cooperatives to help in power restoration. The IMEA Operations Center is a key player on a team that makes Illinois municipal power utilities unparalleled in power delivery reliability.
IMEA’s Information Systems Department helps Operations Center analysts and power services coordinators monitor the status of every substation owned by IMEA’s Members.
IMEA electrical engineers and technicians supplement the work of IMEA Members’ engineers and electric department personnel. They assist the Members with such tasks as preparing emission reports, stack emission analyses, coordination of preventive maintenance activities, load flow studies, power factor improvement recommendations and key account customer support (such as meter testing and
programming and power quality surveys).
In addition to performing all the legal work the Agency requires, IMEA’s on-staff legal counsel serves as a resource to IMEA member communities, often providing assistance on such questions as territorial service rights and retail customer choice under Illinois’ deregulation statutes.