Missouri Rural Electricity: A Three-Tiered System

When you hit the light switch, your lights come on. When you push “start,” your microwave heats up your food. When you pull into your driveway at night, your security light comes on. Have you ever wondered, though, how that power gets to from the power plant all the way to your house?

All 40 of your Missouri Electric Cooperatives across the state use the same three-tiered system to get electricity to your home, farm, or business. Those three tiers are: electricity generation, electricity transmission, and electricity distribution.

From the power plant to your light switch, here’s how Missouri’s three-tiered system works for you:  

Tier 1: Electricity Generation

Missouri’s Electric Cooperatives get their power from Associated Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AECI), which generates power at six different transmission cooperatives in Missouri, Iowa, and Oklahoma.

AECI relies on a diverse array of power sources including two coal-based power plants, three combined-cycle gas-based power plants, four peaking-oil and gas-based power plants, one hydroelectric peaking power plant, and the wind energy that comes from six different wind farms.

Tier 2: Six Transmission Cooperatives

AECI’s six transmission Cooperatives are: NW Electric Power Cooperative, Inc. in Cameron; Northeast Missouri Electric Power Cooperative in Palmyra; Central Electric Power Cooperative in Jefferson City; KAMO Power in Vinita, Oklahoma; Sho-Me Power Electric Cooperative in Marshall; and M&A Electric Power Cooperative in Poplar Bluff.


Image Source: AECI.org

Tier 3: 40 Distribution Cooperatives 

Each of AECI’s six transmission Cooperatives serves several of Missouri’s 40 distribution Cooperatives, as well as Cooperatives in neighboring states. These are the Cooperatives that you think of as your Coop: they’re the Cooperative where your family or business is a Member-Owner.


Here’s a list of each of AECI’s transmission Cooperatives and the distribution Cooperatives they serve:

1. NW Missouri Electric Power Cooperative


NW Missouri Electric Power Cooperative serves the northwest corner of Missouri, including Atchison-Holt, United Electric, Grundy Electric, North Central Missouri Electric, Farmers’ Electric, Platte-Clay Electric, and West Central Electric.

2. Northeast Missouri Electric Power Cooperative


Northeast Missouri Electric in Palmyra transmits power to Chariton Valley Electric, Southern Iowa Electric, Access Energy, Tri-County Electric, Lewis County Rural Electric, Macon Electric, Missouri Rural Electric, and Ralls County Electric.

3. Central Electric Power Cooperative


Central Electric is based in Jefferson City. From that home base, it transmits power to eight Missouri Electric Cooperatives: Central Missouri Electric, Howard Electric, Boone Electric, Consolidated Electric, Cuivre River Electric, Callaway Electric, Three Rivers Electric, and Co-Mo Electric. 

4. KAMO Power

KAMO Power serves 17 local electric Cooperatives in Southwest Missouri and Oklahoma. Eight of those 17 Cooperatives are in Missouri: Osage Valley Electric, Sac Osage Electric, Southwest Electric, Barton County Electric, Ozark Electric, White River Valley Electric, Barry Electric, and New-Mac Electric

5. Sho-Me Power Electric Cooperative

  Sho-Me Power Electric transmits power to nine distributive Cooperatives in south central Missouri: Southwest Electric, Laclede Electric, Gascosage Electric, Intercounty Electric, Crawford Electric, Howell-Oregon Electric, Se-Ma-No Electric, Webster Electric, and White River Valley Electric.  

6. M&A Electric Power Cooperative


M&A Electric transmits power to the Bootheel, serving Black River Electric, Ozark Boarder Electric, SEMO Electric, and Pemiscot-Dunklin Electric.