Golden Spread Elec. & Tri-County Elec.
Mark W. Schwirtz is President and Chief Executive Officer at Golden Spread. He joined the company in December 2008 as President and CEO. He has 33 years of electric utility experience. He has testified numerous times on fuel and other utility issues before the United States Congress and before federal and state regulatory bodies.
Zac Perkins, CEO at Tri-County Electric Cooperative (TCEC) in Hooker, Oklahoma, has more than 14 years of experience in the electric cooperative industry. He serves on the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives Board, the Golden Spread Electric Cooperative Board, the South Central MCN Board, the Oklahoma Panhandle State Foundation Board, the Oklahoma Panhandle State University Advisory Council, and the Guymon Industrial Foundation Board.
PUF's Steve Mitnick: Mark and Zac, how do your two organizations work together?
Mark Schwirtz: There are sixteen members in Golden Spread. Tri-County Electric Cooperative, also known as TCEC, is one of those and one of our larger members. They are in our northern section.
We are in West Texas and the Oklahoma panhandle primarily. Zac's members are in the Oklahoma panhandle. Geography is important.
Because we are in West Texas, there's not a lot of load out there that is residential. Zac's got more residential than most of our members. At least the top three. We have a lot of oil and gas. Also, a lot of irrigation. There is a lot of energy produced in West Texas, including renewables.
Many natural gas lines bisect our power plant properties, giving us access to plentiful natural gas at low prices. Additionally, if you've ever been to West Texas, you will notice a lack of trees. The wind blows a lot. Golden Spread owns a wind farm that has a capacity factor of fifty-five percent. That's one of the highest in the country.