History

Karnes 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.

 Today, Karnes Electric continues to receive all transmission service and generation service from South Texas Electric Cooperative, Inc. (stec.org), located 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).

 South 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.

 In 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.

 Click here, for a chart showing the mix of generation sources provided by our power supplier South Texas Electric Cooperative, Inc.