P.J. Griekspoor Archives Email Author Farm Support For Coal Plants Is No Mystery Farmer-owned coop status seems to be something many don't understand. Published on: March 6, 2009 Tweet Post to Your Wall. Email Blog RSS Permalink Print A former co-worker of mine recently expressed surprise that farm organizations are out in front of the battle to build coal-fired electrical plants in western Kansas. He had missed the fact that Sunflower Electric Power is a farmer-owned cooperative, as Tri-State, the partner in the venture. The farmers of western Kansas are all too aware of the high cost of natural gas and wind generation because that is mostly what Sunflower has now and they pay significantly higher rates than the eastern third of the state, which has bountiful coal generation. The disparity is even more apparent to rural customers in eastern Kansas. The Senate passed a bill to allow the plants to be built by a veto-proof majority on Thursday. The House is five votes short. Time will tell.