When municipal electric utilities across the state and country began to have concerns about controlling future power costs, many took advantage of state statutes allowing them to organize joint action agencies. Two principal philosophies emerged beginning in the late 1970’s.
One philosophy is “project-based”. It is implemented by an agency effort to bring generation resource opportunities to individual municipal utilities who then carry out their own resource planning, load forecasting, etc., with the goal in mind to decide on whether to participate with others in a given project. Debt considerations are generally part of the individual decision process.
Another philosophy is an aggregate pooling of resources (asset ownership, resource contract entitlements, etc.) to provide power supplies and other services to all members of the agency (Pool). Rates are standardized and approved by the membership along with a member-driven governance structure. With agency-led assistance in planning, forecasting, scheduling and administration, municipal utilities are poised to receive a variety of technical services and off balance sheet benefits.