What your co-op is doing to prepare for future generation needs
Over the past two months, we’ve provided context for the need for more electric generation and the need to address this issue across our country and how members can be involved. Now, let’s discuss what we face going forward.
The need for new electric generation sources is now. The testing and implementation of new technologies to provide sustainable power generation sources isn’t a fast process. Dare I also say the technology we need to supply the reliable, safe and affordable energy cooperatives promise our members doesn’t exist if coal plants suddenly just go away. But this isn’t recent news. Despite the challenges from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to move away from power sources using fossil fuels, the concern over carbon emissions has been around for more than a decade through several different administrations. This issue isn’t going away, but neither is our need to deliver power to our members.
What options do we have?
Technologies like energy storage, carbon capture, hydrogen-fired and dual-use turbine plants and small nuclear reactors are all being discussed as options going forward. However, these technologies aren’t ready for the main stage. It is vital to explore and research these options now so that we can see what will be viable for our country, our state, for co-ops and for our members. These new ways of power generation might be the ticket, but it is our responsibility to be transparent with our members about the viability of these options now while continuing research and development for a brighter tomorrow.
What are we doing?
Cooperative leaders across our state are working to make building additional transmission lines easier by addressing permitting issues. This will allow us to partner with neighboring states more easily to secure resources. We are also in conversations to diversify our generation sources to continue delivering reliable and affordable power to you. Gathered shoulder to shoulder, we’ve brainstormed and secured the best path forward. This includes negotiations to include enough power supply to continue attracting industrial customers on our lines that are large power users. Members like this not only help your co-op maintain stable rates, but they also help the greater community with an increased tax basis and local job creation. Details of our plans, along with the other South Carolina cooperatives, for generation sources and a forecast of the coming years will be available by the end of 2023 in our update Integrated Resource Plan.
At the end of the day, we want you to know as YEC members that we’re looking out for you. We are working to keep you informed of this issue, as well as assure you that we are working to address the need for more generation. We cut the lights on over 83 years ago and we will continue to forge a path and find a way to maintain service excellence, despite the odds and challenges we may need to overcome. Luckily, just like we did back then, we will do it together while putting our members first.