Cooperative Living April 2024 - 20

CUTTING EDGE
Looking Forward
Shaping our energy future through innovation
by Anne Prince, Contributing Columnist
he energy industry is
undergoing signifi cant change
driven by technology and the
transition to more sustainable forms
of energy. Innovation is essential
in addressing these challenges and
ensuring a continuous, reliable and
aff ordable power supply.
Electric co-ops are no strangers
to adapting to the needs of the local
communities they serve. Th ey have
always leaned into change as they
explore new ways to meet your energy
needs.
ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES
By using advanced equipment
like drones that inspect local grids,
sensors that provide real-time data
on the condition of power lines, and
satellite imagery used to monitor
vegetation growth, cooperatives can
pinpoint potential problems before
they even occur, and ultimately
improve service for all.
Investing in smarter technologies
also can enhance the monitoring and
control of electricity fl ow so they can
respond swi┼┐t ly to changing needs.
Smart electric meters remotely collect
data on how electricity is being used.
Th is helps in promptly prioritizing
and dispatching crews during an
outage, reducing restoration time
during weather-related disruptions.
Even before adverse weather appears,
advanced analytics from these
systems, combined with data
on weather patterns and other
information, allow cooperatives to
be proactive in taking preventative
measures to shore up their systems.
PREPARING FOR
INCREASED ENERGY USE
Today, we all depend on electricity
18 * Cooperative Living * April 2024
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more than ever before.
From vehicles to farming
equipment to home heating
options, more products and appliances
that we depend on run on electricity.
Interest in electric vehicles is
growing and automakers are
planning to transition many
new vehicles to electric-only
models within the next
10 years. Electric
cooperatives, like all
electric providers,
must plan now
to have the
necessary
infrastructure
in place to meet
future EV charging
needs - without jeopardizing
the ability to provide reliable power
to their members.
Additionally, some cooperatives
are exploring innovative technologies
like large-scale batteries and new
community solar projects to help
address the increasing electricity
demand.
INNOVATIVE EFFICIENCY
SOLUTIONS
Electric cooperatives are driven
by a commitment to community and
member satisfaction. As consumers
become more proactive in managing
their energy use, they are providing
new ways to help their members
lower their use and save money.
COOPERATION AMONG
COOPERATIVES
You may not realize it, but your
electric cooperative is part of a large
network of about 900 electric co-ops
nationwide. While they are locally
owned by you, the members of the
co-op, they also have the advantage
of working with co-ops across the
country to share ideas and leverage
any innovations that colleagues may
have tried out fi rst. As cooperatives,
they are collaborators instead of
competitors - it's a unique aspect
of the cooperative business model,
and we're all stronger because of it.
Our energy future will look
diff erent than it has in the past, but
your local electric cooperative is
prepared to adapt for the members
they serve. Th eir mission and
commitment to you remain steady -
to provide reliable power at a cost
local families and businesses can
aff ord.
*
Anne Prince writes on consumer and
cooperative aff airs for the National Rural
Electric Cooperative Association.
co-opliving.com
http://www.co-opliving.com

Cooperative Living April 2024

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Cooperative Living April 2024

Cooperative Living April 2024 - 1
Cooperative Living April 2024 - 2
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