In recent years, Valley Electric Association, Inc. (VEA) has made significant progress in promoting the development of renewable energy projects and other green initiatives in southwestern Nevada.
As a member-owned electric cooperative, we have a responsibility to pursue innovative programs and endeavors that have a direct and lasting impact on the communities we serve. VEA and its member-owners are responsible for one of our nation’s largest and most successful domestic solar water heating programs, providing our communities with improved access to energy-saving technology. Since launching the program in 2009, VEA has installed 878 solar water heaters in southwestern Nevada, offering on-bill financing with zero-percent interest and no down payments. Our cooperative has received prestigious local and national recognition for this program, including a National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Community Service Award for Energy Efficiency and a Las Vegas Business Press Green Award.
Continuing VEA’s tradition of innovation, our cooperative is set to introduce a number of other unique green initiatives. VEA has partnered with the Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy and NV Energy to support the Nevada Electric Highway initiative, which will include the installation of electric vehicle charging stations in communities along U.S. Route 95 between Las Vegas and Reno. As part of this effort, VEA will install an electric vehicle charging station in Beatty. Our cooperative is proud to support this effort to promote the use of electric vehicles in Nevada, and we expect the Beatty charging station to bring new visitors and tourism dollars to our service area.
VEA is also working to introduce a large-scale community solar project in Pahrump that will provide our members with unique opportunities to experience the benefits of renewable energy generation. The output of this project will be directly available for individual members at a savings over their current rates. While this project is in the planning stages, we expect to announce additional details in the coming months.
Looking toward the future, VEA will continue to develop and introduce green initiatives for the benefit of our member-owners. Our service area offers an abundance of renewable energy resources, and we will work together to ensure these assets are properly utilized to create valuable new opportunities for the communities we call home.
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.