VEA pledges support to climate action

Valley Electric Association, Inc. has joined the American Business Act on Climate Pledge, to demonstrate an ongoing commitment to climate action.

VEA joins more than 150 other companies in the country to demonstrate its support in taking strong steps toward a low-carbon, sustainable future.

This reinforces VEA’s commitment to being more eco-friendly as the co-op was already in the process of reducing CO2 emissions through utilizing renewable resources.

The companies from across the American economy that are involved with the program are standing with President Obama to demonstrate an ongoing commitment to climate action and to show support for a strong outcome to the COP21 Paris climate negotiations.

VEA is the only electric utility cooperative to take the pledge and applauds the growing number of countries that have already put climate-action programs into place.

“Our cooperative understands the importance of addressing climate change through the development of sustainable energy projects,” said Tom Husted, chief executive officer of VEA. “We will continue to develop and use programs that effectively utilize the abundance of renewable resources for our members.”

By taking the pledge, VEA realizes that delaying action on climate change could be costly in economic and human terms. Accelerating the transition to a low-carbon economy will create various benefits with regard to sustainable economic growth, public health and resilience to natural disasters.

VEA announced specific pledges, including facilitating the development of more than 200 megawatts of new renewable energy projects within the co-op’s 6,800-square-mile service territory by 2025.

This will be kick-started by the co-op constructing a 15-megawatt community solar energy generation project in Pahrump by July 2016, providing the output of the project to community members at a lower price than their current rates.

Introducing additional renewable energy resources into the western energy markets and promoting the development of 50 megawatts of advanced energy storage for implementation in the western grid by 2020 is also part of VEA’s plans.

Additionally, VEA will continue to operate one of the nation’s largest domestic solar water heating programs, providing energy savings to the co-op’s member-owners while improving access to green technology.

The co-op plans to eliminate an additional 39 million pounds of carbon dioxide and displace 14 million kilowatt-hours of energy demand by 2025 through its Domestic Solar Water Heating Program.

VEA will continue to work alongside our member-consumers through its Ambassador Program to promote the development of community-focused renewable energy projects and programs.

Continuing to invest in programs in partnership with its member-consumers to advance the efficient utilization of water and energy for sustained agricultural practices, will be in place as well.

Lastly, with electric cars becoming increasingly popular among the eco-conscious consumer, VEA will also own and operate an electric vehicle charging station in Beatty to promote the use of electric vehicles as part of the Nevada Electric Highway initiative.

In addition to those programs and initiatives revolving around energy smart solutions, VEA will also design all future buildings to comply with LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards.

Contact reporter Mick Akers at Follow @mickakers on Twitter.

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