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HUSTED: VEA begins its second half-century

As we start a new year, Valley Electric Association, Inc. (VEA) is again eager to embark on a wide range of opportunities that will enhance our level of service as well as our quality of life.

VEA will focus its attention on initiatives to better serve our members and the communities.

These include the broadband fiber optics network project, the Community Solar Project, and service improvements programs that will reduce momentary blinks.

Valley Communications Association will provide our members with direct access to the most advanced optical fiber communications network in the state. In this regard, we are pleased to announce the Pahrump Community Library was the first facility to receive optical fiber service and is already reporting a significant increase in foot traffic.

VEA's Community Solar Project will provide a new, cost-effective renewable energy option for our member-owners and is expected to begin delivering energy in 2016. This community-focused solar project provides an estimated 200 jobs throughout the construction process.

Further, through a fixed-rate power purchase agreement, the project will provide the cooperative with one of the lowest-priced solar energy contracts in the nation.

One of our core values is transparency; thus, it is imperative for us to remind our members of our long-range strategic plan which includes a rate adjustment set to go into effect in 2017. This will be the first rate adjustment since January 1, 2010, overcoming the country's worst recession in history and growing the company from $125 million to over $350 million. VEA will continue to make every effort to keep energy costs affordable and provide our members with updates as they become available.

Tom Husted has served as the CEO of VEA 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.

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