Electric Cooperative, Inc. (KEC) was incorporated on
Oct. 24, 1938 to bring electric light, power and heat to rural
areas the Investor Owned Utilities refused to serve. Neighbors joined together and, with the assistance of the Rural
Electrification Administration, formed a Member-Owned, not-for profit, electric distribution cooperative to be locally
owned and operated. On April 10, 1939, the Members of the newly formed Karnes Electric Cooperative hired A. L. Stegner as
resident engineer and leased an office and warehouse in Karnes City, Texas. The cooperative was awarded its first contract
to build 232 miles of line on May 9, 1939.
Hundreds watched as the Cooperative energized its first lines at 12 noon, February 1, 1940 bringing the miracle of
electric light and power to South Texas. As of March 1945 the cooperative had 345 members. Dewitt Electric Cooperative
(now part of Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative) originally supplied KEC with its wholesale power until August 1, 1940.
Central Power and Light (now part of American Electric Power), supplied wholesale power to KEC from 1940 until August 15,
1960 when a group of distribution cooperatives formed South Texas Electric Cooperative, Inc.
Karnes Electric continues to receive all transmission service and
generation service from South Texas Electric
in Nursery, Texas.
STEC is a
“Cooperative of Cooperatives” wholly owned by eight electric
distribution cooperatives covering the vast
majority of south Texas. These are: Jackson EC (Edna), Karnes EC (Karnes City), Magic Valley EC (Mercedes), Medina EC (Hondo),
Nueces EC (Robstown), San Patricio EC (Sinton), Victoria EC (Victoria), and Wharton County EC (El Campo).
Texas Electric Cooperative, Inc. in turn owns a one half interest in
San Miguel Electric Cooperative in Christine,
Texas. SMEC operates the San Miguel Lignite Plant which provides power to Karnes Electric.
addition to the lignite ownership in SMEC, STEC owns natural gas
generation, as well as receiving all of the power
produced at the hydro plants at Lake Amistad in Del Rio and Falcon Lake in Zapata. STEC also purchases 50 megawatts of wind
power from the Iberdrola Peñascal Wind Power Project at Sarita, Texas.
a chart showing the mix of generation sources provided by our power
supplier South Texas Electric Cooperative, Inc.