NRCO was created in 2008 by 15 electric cooperatives who recognized that renewable generation technology was poised for widespread adoption across the U.S. The cooperatives acknowledged that renewables were uneconomical at the time, but realized their potential to revolutionize energy markets. Methane recapture from farms, hydro power, and wind have been electrifying rural America since the 1930s. According to NRCO’s CEO, Amadou Fall, “Conservation efforts and utilizing natural resources have always been part of the foundation of electric cooperatives.” Although these concepts have been around for decades, they are constantly evolving. Cooperatives needed a knowledgeable advisor they could trust to provide insight regarding when to enter the renewables market, and what resources to implement.
Major changes in renewable energy generation has resulted from economies of scale, policy regulations, and a need to diversify volatile fuel supplies. NRCO serves its members with renewable energy project origination and power purchase agreement (PPA) negotiations, site selection, site development, legal advice, and finance and accounting expertise. NRCO’s PPA origination and development services have resulted in over 1,000 MWs of utility-scale and community renewable projects being installed for cooperatives in over 20 states. NRCO has expertise in projects dealing with wind, solar, biomass, hydro, and coal bed methane, and is always searching for new innovations to provide value to its members.
Today, NRCO has 21 members that have a combined peak load of nearly 40 GWs and serve more than 7.6 million homes and businesses. Interest in renewable energy among cooperatives has grown substantially and NRCO’s members are benefiting from cost reductions, policy improvements, and a stronger understanding of how to reliably integrate renewables into the U.S. Bulk Electric System (BES). NRCO is motivated to create innovative solutions to lead its members through the maze of new storage applications, new grid infrastructure projects, evolving federal and state policies, and emerging technologies that will solidify a clean and reliable grid.