U.S. electric cooperatives unite to promote renewables

Electric cooperatives from across the U.S. have formed the National Renewables Cooperative Organization to help members participate nationally in diversified alternative energy projects.

ACES Power Marketing, an energy risk management and transaction services firm based in Carmel, serves as the organization’s energy management company. It will coordinate development of renewable energy projects.

Twenty-four co-ops, including some hydropower operators, are members of the organization, which also is headquartered in Carmel. Membership in the new organization is open to generation and transmission cooperatives, unaffiliated distribution cooperatives, and others that can buy power in wholesale electricity markets.

In addition to signing a service agreement with ACES Power Marketing, NRCO’s board of directors launched a website, www.renewable.coop, selected ACES Vice President Amadou Fall to serve as the organization’s chief executive officer, and re-elected officers.

�Because of the possibility of a national renewables portfolio standard or carbon tax, and because of the interest of cooperative members in renewable energy, there is no question that power supply cooperatives around the country will continue to expand the amount of renewable energy in their portfolios,� NRCO President Ron Harper said. (HNN 11/14/08)

Harper, who also is chief executive officer and general manager of the Basin Electric Power Cooperative in North Dakota, said the �tried and true� co-op tradition of banding together to achieve a common goal benefiting all members is the basis for NRCO’s approach.

NRCO identified three main purposes: to facilitate the cost-effective, joint development of renewable resources nationwide for its cooperative owners; to help its owners meet the requirements of mandatory and voluntary renewables portfolio standards and renewable energy standards; and to assist the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association with legislative and regulatory renewables initiatives.

Members in areas that might not have renewable resources can acquire renewable energy and credits through renewables projects developed by NRCO, the organization said.

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