CEO’s Message – May 2019
Visions of the Future
The vision a handful of leaders put in motion 61 years ago makes your life more enjoyable, safer and more convenient to this day. Wells Rural Electric Company’s original Board of Directors took an enormous leap of faith when they decided to unite our communities through the creation of a rural electric cooperative to bring safe, reliable, clean and affordable electricity to you, our members.
One example of how far into the future those leaders looked is the decision to contract with Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) for a long-term wholesale power supply. Senate Bill 358 is making its way through the Nevada Legislature at this very moment. If enacted, this bill will require every provider of electricity in Nevada to produce 50% of its electricity from renewable resources by 2030. Because WREC’s wholesale power supply is primarily produced by hydropower, the electricity you use every day is already 84% renewable and 96% carbon-free.
Because of another long-term vision, your Board members have lobbied the Nevada Legislature for years to count hydropower as renewable. The investment of both time and money in helping elected officials understand hydropower, rural issues, local control, electric cooperatives and cost-based rates has persuaded members of the Legislature to include hydropower as a renewable resource in this mandate. As a result, your electric cooperative will be exceeding what will be a distant goal for other electric utilities, as it has for decades.
Your current Board of Directors and management team are looking far into the future as well. On Thursday evening, April 11, WREC announced an investment in the future of your cooperative. More than 50 people were present and about a dozen watched on facebook live as WREC presented plans for construction of a new operations center.
With your support, your locally-elected Board thoughtfully invests the money you entrust to them. These investments include building and maintaining the power lines that reliably deliver electricity and technology that allows you to conduct business with your cooperative at your convenience. WREC also invests in energy-efficiency improvements in your homes and businesses and in the equipment and training your employees need to serve you efficiently and affordably.
This is the perfect time to invest in a new operations center that will not only meet current needs but enable your electric cooperative to provide the excellent service you’ve come to expect well into the future. Interest rates are low, and WREC’s financial health is rock-solid. Subject to any new developments, WREC does not expect BPA to increase wholesale power costs in October. WREC has controlled its cost over the past five years. As a result, we do not foresee a need for a rate increase for the next two years, even with the investment in a new building.
We are excited to share this important step in the growth of your electric cooperative with you. Renderings of the proposed operations center appear on pages four and five inside this magazine. Video of the announcement ceremony, additional drawings and frequently asked questions are available on www.wrec.coop.
evelopments will be shared with you at community organization and local government meetings, as well as through social media, our website and coming editions of Ruralite magazine.
Clay R. Fitch
Chief Executive Officer