Valley Electric Association, Inc. (VEA) has made significant strides to provide its members with a wide variety of benefits in 2014 and beyond.
As VEA’s board members and employees continue to implement a proactive business strategy and create additional sources of revenue, we have strategically positioned our cooperative for long-term rate stability and a number of other unique opportunities for continued growth and success.
Earlier this year, VEA worked to stabilize the cost of purchased power, our cooperative’s largest expense. By securing new power purchase agreements and generating additional revenue through recent federal contracts, our current financial forecast does not call for a rate adjustment until 2018. This represents a projected eight-year period of rate stability, which is increasingly rare in our industry.
While maintaining rate stability is a top priority for VEA’s team, we also strive to retire operating margins (capital credits) from prior years to our members. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, we expect to retire capital credits in December, repaying our members for their valuable investments in our cooperative. This is just one of the many benefits of the cooperative business model, and we look forward to offering additional capital credit retirements in the future.
To support our business strategy and accommodate VEA’s growing number of employees, our board of directors recently approved a plan to expand VEA’s campus in Pahrump.
Beginning in 2014, this project will include the construction of a new operations, dispatch and engineering building, and renovations to existing facilities. In addition to providing improved levels of security and technological sophistication, this carefully planned project will support our efforts to attract renewable energy generators to local communities. Following the construction of the new building, we will transform our existing engineering building into the Valley Conference Center, a fully equipped meeting venue designed to host community events.
This project serves to demonstrate the success of VEA and its members. Our ongoing growth would not be possible without the support of our member-owners and community partners.
I invite all of our members to learn more about VEA’s member-focused initiatives by attending our district meetings in March. A meeting schedule is available on VEA’s website at www.vea.coop.
Tom Husted has served as the CEO of Valley Electric Association, Inc. since 2006. He has more than 30 years of experience in the utility industry across the Western United States, including more than 20 years as a CEO. Each monthly edition of VEA’s Ruralite magazine features a column from Husted, offering his thoughts about issues affecting the cooperative and the communities it serves. These monthly columns are reprinted in the Pahrump Valley Times.