Cardinal: reliable and affordable

Ohio electric co-op members can witness the operation of Cardinal up close during our annual plant tours.

Owning a power plant and being responsible for the day-to-day operations of a power plant are two very different things.

Pat O’Loughlin, president & CEO of Ohio’s Electric Cooperatives

Ohio’s electric cooperatives got together to form Buckeye Power in 1959, built (in partnership with American Electric Power) the Cardinal Power Plant on the banks of the Ohio River near Brilliant, Ohio, and began generating electricity there in 1968. That allowed cooperatives to hold our energy destiny in our own hands in a way we’d never been able to before. Even so, we relied on AEP to run the plant, and while we had a say in all the major decisions, responsibility for daily operations belonged to AEP.

That ended a little more than a year ago, when AEP decided to scale back its role in the Ohio power generation business. All those years of observation, gathering knowledge, and acquiring experience at Cardinal were put to use as we assumed responsibility for operational control there, as well as at our other generation facilities.

Not surprisingly, as a cooperative, we do things a little differently than the way a large multistate utility like AEP does them. We seek greater involvement from our employees in decision-making and are less tied to “the way we’ve always done things.”

As not-for-profit co-ops, we operate at cost and we have a financial responsibility to our members to be both reliable and cost-competitive. We have a responsibility to the local community to operate in an environmentally responsible manner. Most importantly, we have a responsibility to our employees to operate safely.

Meanwhile, we’re committed to an all-of-the-above energy approach, and we continue to explore and investigate economically sustainable sources of renewable power. However, we’ve also made significant investments in people, environmental controls, and technology, to help assure that our traditional power plants continue to provide value. Today, the Cardinal Power Plant simply offers the best combination of reliability and affordability for our members — ready to meet your needs each and every day, during the most blistering heat wave or any bone-chilling polar vortex that comes our way.

That’s power generation for the generations.