Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation (AECC) was founded in 1949 by visionary Arkansas distribution cooperatives who realized that they needed an independent supply of electricity to ensure that their members would have continued access to reliable and affordable electricity. The founding electric cooperatives formed the generation and transmission (G&T) cooperative, AECC, to have the authority to construct or purchase electric generation to provide for the continued growth and success of rural Arkansas. To this day, AECC continues to follow the direction of its member-elected Board to provide safe, reliable and affordable electric generation to the members who live and work throughout 74 of Arkansas’s 75 counties. Although energy policies, demographics and governmental regulations have changed throughout the past six decades, one thing has remained constant ─ AECC’s continued commitment to its distribution cooperatives and their members. As a member-owned and member-driven organization, the policies and decisions made by AECC have one focus: Members Matter.
The 17 member distribution cooperatives that own AECC follow similar paths in utilizing AECC’s wholesale electric supply to provide retail electric service to their collective memberships of approximately 500,000 homes, farms and businesses in Arkansas and surrounding states. These members account for approximately 1.2 million residents in the state of Arkansas, representing almost every community and spanning the geographic footprint of Arkansas’ mountains, valleys, rivers, streams and farmland.
Since 1949, AECC has utilized a consistent, long-term, strategic vision to ensure that its 17 distribution members have access to safe, reliable, affordable electricity. This mission has been enabled by creating a diverse portfolio of coal and natural gas-fired electric generation plants, hydroelectric facilities, wind power contracts, and solar and biomass energy. As a result of this sustained mission and diverse generation portfolio, AECC is one of the top generation and transmission cooperatives in the United States. Decisions made by the AECC board of directors and leadership team are based on sustaining this long-term vision which in turn provides long-term benefits to Arkansas electric cooperative members.
The 17 member electric distribution cooperatives and AECC assist the communities they serve by not only delivering power to businesses, farms and homes across Arkansas, but by helping to grow their communities through economic development efforts and supporting business expansions and community initiatives. The cooperatives sponsor numerous community fundraising, development and service events while employees devote hundreds of volunteer hours to various projects. Electric cooperative directors and employees know that strong communities coupled with reliable, affordable electric service provide the fuel for economic growth and a sustained quality of life. AECC directors and employees serve as advocates for their communities and their members by constantly striving to assist Arkansans in every possible manner.
We are Arkansas
As members of 17 distinct electric cooperatives across the state, Arkansas’ more than 1.2 million electric cooperative members are more than just customers. They own their local electric cooperative that in turn owns AECC. As part of the structure of democratically controlled cooperatives, their member directors have a vote in policy decisions and the electric cooperative leaders answer directly to their members.
Collectively, AECC and its member distribution cooperatives represent the largest private business in Arkansas. This success has been powered by board members and employees who understand and implement the membership structure and philosophical vision that electric utility cooperatives exist wholly to serve their members. This organic mission and legal structure is the essence and lifeblood of the electric cooperative business model and community. Employees and members are also friends and neighbors. Within AECC and its 17 distribution member cooperatives, “Members Matter” because, that’s who we are. We Are Arkansas.