Co-ops Explore Ways to ‘Electrify NC’
Summit brings creative minds together to discuss beneficial electrification
Leaders from electric cooperatives across the state recently met in Raleigh at the Electrify NC summit, where they learned about ways electricity can be used to improve efficiencies in applications typically powered by fossil fuels — also known as beneficial electrification (BE).
Through presentations from co-op peers and industry experts, the message was clear: New technology is creating more opportunities to electrify end-use applications and processes, bringing with it new ways for utilities to save consumers money, improve grid flexibility and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
Sessions throughout the day-long event included panel discussions on:
- The promise and potential of BE;
- Technologies that are making BE more feasible;
- The importance of grid flexibility in BE;
- Public policy and BE adoption; and
- Opportunities for BE in NC agribusiness.
Specific initiatives at electric co-ops around the state were a part of the discussions, including an NC farm energy audit program through EnSave (contact your electric co-op for more information), grid optimizations efforts, microgrid applications and the development of a statewide electric vehicle charging network.
“Right now is a time of change. It’s a time of transformation. It’s a time when technology is advancing, and members and communities are expecting more and more from their electric cooperatives,” said Roanoke Electric CEO Curtis Wynn in closing remarks at the conference. “I’m really encouraged by the progress overall. From what I’ve heard today, this ship is moving, and we’re onboard.”