North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives representatives attend National Cooperative Meeting - Carolina Country

Reliability a Focal Point at National Co-op Meeting

NC electric co-op leaders met in San Antonio for the 2024 PowerXchange conference

Reliability a Focal Point at National Co-op Meeting
Brunswick Electric CEO and General Manager Josh Winslow (center)

In March, representatives from all 26 of North Carolina’s electric cooperatives joined thousands of peers from around the country in San Antonio for the 2024 PowerXchange conference, the national annual meeting of electric co-ops.

Several discussions and sessions focused on ensuring grid reliability, including opening remarks by Jim Matheson, CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), the national trade association for electric co-ops.

“I want to hit the pause button. Preserve baseload power. Understand the opportunities and the limitations of wind, solar and storage. Appreciate the value of gas plants, nuclear power and hydroelectric dams. Build the transmission we’re going to need,” Matheson said, defining his main goal as continuing to engage federal regulators and elected officials, from Congress to the White House, to restore the point of view that reliability matters.

“It takes time to get this right,” he continued. “And in order to have a strong economy, growth and a better quality of life; we have to get it right.”

Haley Dorsey

YLC representative Haley Dorsey

Haley Dorsey, Youth Leadership Council (YLC) representative and 2023 Youth Tourist sponsored by Blue Ridge Energy, took to the main stage to address the crowd of more than 9,000 on behalf of YLC. Each year, a Youth Tourist from each state is selected by their peers for YLC, an NRECA-led leadership workshop.

“I am not throwing away my shot. I’m just like my country, young, scrappy and hungry, so I am not throwing away my shot. Wise words taken from the Broadway musical, ‘Hamilton,’” Dorsey began her speech.

“I took my shot this year, from explaining to my cooperative members the simplified steps it takes to become a leader through my love for classical literature to explaining the important principles of a cooperative and the tasks they are faced with as a great establishment with influence,” Dorsey said. “And now I’m here standing in front of you all today, to remind you of the ever-growing young leaders in this community. In my community.”

Representatives from North Carolina’s electric cooperatives shared insights in breakout sessions at the annual meeting, including Josh Winslow, CEO and general manager of Brunswick Electric; and Jason Caudle, COO of TEMA, a co-op organization that provides materials and supplies needed to operate and maintain the electric system.

At the TechAdvantage Conference, an event focused on co-op innovation and technology held in conjunction with PowerXchange, several representatives from North Carolina’s electric cooperatives presented during breakout sessions: TW Allen, manager of Engineering and Edge of Grid Assets for Tideland EMC; Jacob Barlow, senior project engineer for Randolph EMC; Don Bowman, COO/VP Engineering for Wake Electric; Tim Gubitz, manager, DER Engineering, for North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives; Angela Hare, VP of IT, Member Services and Metering for Central EMC; Jeff Loven, CEO of French Broad EMC; and Donald Webb, manager of Engineering and Operations for French Broad EMC.

Leave a comment

You are commenting as guest.