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NIPCO Today

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NIPCO Today: A New Generation of Generation

Since NIPCO's incorporation, nearly 70 years ago, we remain committed to our members. We were created as a cooperative and we remain grounded and governed by the Cooperative Principles, today. But we're not just a cooperative. We are a cooperative family. We are committed to the western Iowa communities we serve and to keeping our future bright.

NIPCO currently owns, operates and maintains an extensive electric transmission system consisting of 921 miles of 69kV (69,000 volts) line, 2 source substations, 78 distribution substations, and 18 switch stations throughout a 6,500 square mile service territory in western Iowa.

Reliability was a major concern in the original design of the NIPCO system. An effective maintenance program and the addition of remotely operated switching equipment allows NIPCO to consistently maintain a 99.992 percent reliability record (this equates to only 61.5 total hours of substation service interruption to our member cooperatives in 2016 from 86 substations in our system!).

NIPCO is also a Transmission Owner (TO) in Southwest Power Pool (SPP), a Regional Transmission Organization (RTO). What this means is that NIPCO and its member cooperatives are ensured a reliable supply of power, adequate transmission infrastructure, and access to a competitive wholesale electricity marketplace. Joining an RTO means NIPCO and other members of the system will have the benefit of generation and transmission assets that are integrated into the entire 14-state system, as well as gaining access to the power supply market when system members require more power or have surplus power to sell. The RTO ensures stabilization of rates that are shared among all system members. By becoming a TO in SPP, NIPCO will receive an annual transmission revenue requirement, or ATRR. This ATRR provides the benefit of an additional revenue stream for NIPCO and its members. Learn more about Southwest Power Pool.


A NIPCO crewman inspects a "trenway" that houses underground cable that support substation communications and operations.

NIPCO Today: Not Just Poles And Wires

In addition to providing reliable wholesale energy and electric transmission services to our members, NIPCO offers telecommunications transmission services through a complex system that includes fiber optics. 

This system includes 11 two-way radio base stations, 40 mobile and hand-held radios, 13 multiple address radio masters with 125 remotes and works, in conjunction with NIPCO's Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system to provide its member cooperatives an efficient, dependable supply of electricity. 

NIPCO utilizes the fiber optic ring to link our electric system operations to our Control Center, allowing Control Center Operators to remotely control and communicate with substations throughout our 10-county service territory, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

Remaining fibers, not used by NIPCO to support system reliability, are marketed, along with NIPCO's telecommunications support services, to other companies on the wholesale market, providing an additional support of revenue for NIPCO and its members.


NIPCO's Most Powerful Asset

In the beginning, NIPCO needed 3 employees to serve its membership. 

Today, it takes 45 full-time employees, including outpost crews in Onawa and Harlan, to serve over 30,000 member-owners belonging to our 7 member cooperatives in 10 western Iowa counties. NIPCO's most powerful asset is our employees.

With a "Members First" attitude, NIPCO is structured and staffed with employees and outside resources that consistently demonstrate the qualifications and values required to meet our mission and vision.

NIPCO serves our membership by working together to deliver innovation, accountability, integrity, and a commitment to the communities we serve.