NRCO Announces New CEO

Thursday, September 16, 2021 – Carmel, IN

The National Renewables Cooperative Organization (NRCO) Board of Directors announced today that they have unanimously selected Michael Keyser as NRCO’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO).  Mr. Keyser’s start date will be January 1, 2022. Keyser succeeds Amadou Fall, who served as CEO from the company’s inception in 2008 until February 2021, when he joined North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation as Chief Operating Officer.

Keyser is currently CEO of BARC Electric Cooperative (BARC) and its wholly-owned fiber-to-the-home subsidiary, BARC Connects, where he has served since 2010. He has extensive industry experience, and has led significant change in renewable and technology development at BARC. Keyser earned a Bachelor’s degree in business from Washington State University, a law degree from Seattle University School of Law, and a black belt in Lean Six Sigma from Virginia Tech.

Andrew Lachowsky, NRCO’s Board President, shared, “We are excited to welcome Mike given his passion for renewables and his proven record of innovation. His background demonstrates that he will be able to effectively lead NRCO in assisting its members through our industry transformation as additions of renewables and related technologies continue to increase. The NRCO Board is confident Mike’s leadership will help guide NRCO’s strategy to deliver value to its members.”

“I am honored to join the team at NRCO as its next chief executive, and look forward to working with the members on technologies and strategies as our industry rapidly evolves,” said Keyser. “Leading NRCO is a truly unique opportunity for me to bring the perspective of both the retail consumer and distribution cooperative to the work that NRCO does. I am excited to assist the members as the country migrates toward a more clean and sustainable electric grid.”

NRCO’s Board of Directors Selection Committee retained CarterBaldwin Executive Search to conduct a nationwide search to identify candidates to serve as CEO of NRCO. Don Gulley, President and CEO of Southern Illinois Power Cooperative, led the Search Committee. Gulley recognized the efforts of Chris Guiney, Partner at CarterBaldwin, in this process, noting, “Chris did an outstanding job identifying and presenting viable candidates that could lead NRCO Members through this time of energy industry transition and transformation.”

Lachowsky also recognized Todd Bartling, who has served as Interim CEO since February 2021, stating, “The NRCO Board is thankful for Todd’s leadership and commitment to continuing to further NRCO’s mission and serve its members during this transition.”

About NRCO:

Formed in 2008, NRCO has 21 members across the United States that have a combined peak load of nearly 40 GW and serve more than 7.6 million homes and businesses. NRCO’s mission is to create opportunities for its members to contract and develop a wide range of cost-effective renewable energy resources. NRCO’s innovative solutions assist members through the maze of new storage applications, new grid infrastructure projects, evolving federal and state policies, and emerging technologies toward a cleaner and more reliable grid.

New Hampshire Electric Cooperative Finalizes Standalone BESS

New Hampshire Electric Cooperative (NHEC) has announced the completion of its first utility scale energy storage project.  The 2.45MW standalone battery project was developed in partnership with Engie North America (ENGIE), a leading provider of energy storage services.

NHEC and NRCO began developing the project in 2018 and assisted NHEC develop the economic use case of the energy storage facility, helped negotiate the energy storage facilities contract, and helped see the project through to COD.

A full press release can be found here

Price Electric Cooperative Finalizes 100kWac Bifacial Solar Resource

Price Electric Cooperative has completed a solar project at its headquarters in Phillips Wisconsin.  The sites consists of a 100kWac fixed tilt bifacial solar array.  The solar array was developed using NRCO’s sCOOP program, which includes Price Electric as the Cooperative participating in the program, and RECORE LLC as the Tax Equity Investor (TEI).

NRCO helped Price Electric develop the site, conducted an RFP for an EPC (Carlson Electric), and managed the project from inception through final testing and to Commercial Operation (COD).  The completion of Price Electric’s solar site makes 54 small scale solar projects NRCO has helped its members develop since initially creating sCOOP in 2014.

Old Dominion Electric Cooperative (ODEC) Solar RFP

NRCO, on behalf of ODEC, issued a 400MW solar RFP on April 27th, 2021.  ODEC is requesting solar projects to be submitted for review by May 27th, 2021.

Project submittals should be sited in VA, MD, DE.

For additional details about the RFP, please visit ODEC’s Press Release

For questions about the RFP, please contact NRCO, and specifically Scott Bradtmiller (Scott.Bradtmiller@nrco.coop)

EKPC Issuing Solar & Wind RFP

East Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC) has issued a Request for Proposal seeking 50MWac Solar Photovoltaic (PV) power, and 10MW of Wind power via Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). EKPC is facilitating the RFP on behalf of their member Inter-County Energy Cooperative, where 100% of the renewable energy will supply Diageo’s largest carbon-neutral distillery in North America.

The RFP is being run by National Renewables Cooperative Organization (NRCO), and lead by Michael Loenen, Senior Renewables Developer. For questions regarding EKPC’s RFP, please contact Michael Loenen @Michael.Loenen@nrco.coop

The full EKPC / Inter-County Energy Cooperative / Diageo press release can be found here.

Big River’s Electric Corporation (BREC) to purchase up to 260MW of solar from two developers

Big River Electric Corporation (BREC) and two developers, Community Energy and Geronimo, have executed power purchase agreements (PPA) to build a portfolio of solar assets totaling up to 260MW in western Kentucky. Community Energy will provide Big Rivers with up to 100MWs of energy located in Meade and McCracken Counties, and will be commercially available in early 2023. Geronimo will build 160MW facility located in Henderson/Webster County, and will be commercially available in early 2024.

According to Big Rivers President and CEO, Bob Berry, “Big Rivers is excited to add this renewable energy source to our portfolio for the sole benefit of our Member-Owners”, “this is another example of our commitment to provide safe, reliable and sustainable energy for our Members.”

NRCO managed the RFP and assisted in the PPA negotiations.

The full Big Rivers / Community Energy / Geronimo press release can be found here

Johnson Corner Project Commences Commercial Operation

Sunflower Electric Power Corporation (SEPC) and Lightsource BP have announced that Johnson Corner Solar Project entered commercial operation as of April 7th, 2020, and was constructed by Lightsource BP. Johnson Corner Solar Project is the result of NRCO and SEPC collaborating together to fully develop a shovel ready project. NRCO helped SEPC select the optimal site by scoring and ranking each potential site based on solar irradiance, impacts on LMPs, and grid impacts on harmonics and voltage control. Next, NRCO helped SEPC navigate the SPP Generation Interconnection Agreement (GIA) process by estimating and organizing costs, defining system impacts, and developing a timeline that fit the needs of SEPC’s. NRCO then led and managed the RFP, rebidding the process twice to allow participants to rebid after the Section 201 tariffs were known, allowing developers to submit their best offers. NRCO then worked with SEPC to sell the development to Lightsource BP and become the PPA off-taker. At 20MWac, Johnson Corner is currently the largest solar project constructed in Kansas, more than doubling Kansas’ current 14.1MW capacity.

The full SEPC/Lightsource BP press release can be found HERE

ODEC Increases Portfolio of Distributed Solar Projects

Old Dominion Electric Cooperative (ODEC) has increased its distributed solar portfolio to 15 projects, providing 60MWac of solar in Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware. The 15 projects are expected to be in service 2021, further diversifying ODEC’s generation portfolio.

NRCO originated the projects from a competitive RFP process, and NRCO advised ODEC during PPA negotiations.

A full press release can be found Here

AECC’s Wildhorse Wind is Operational

Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp (AECC) and Southern Power have completed construction of the 100MW Wildhorse Mountain Wind Facility in Pushmatcha County, Oklahoma. Wildhorse Mountain consists of 29 wind turbines manufactured by Vestas.

The project was originated through NRCO’s annual RFI Process, and NRCO advised AECC during PPA negotiations.

A full press release can be found here.

Franklin Rural Electric Cooperative Completes 3 150kW sites

Franklin Rural Electric Cooperative has completed solar projects at three locations in its service territory. Each site consists of a 149kW solar array, totaling about 450kW Franklin’s CEO, Becky Bradburn, said Franklin “could easily save $15,000 – $20,000 in the first year alone” and will be a great benefit to Franklin’s member-customers.
NRCO helped Franklin REC develop the sites, conducted an RFP for an EPC (Solential Energy), and managed the project from inception through final testing. The completion of Franklin’s distributed solar project makes 53 small scale solar projects NRCO has helped its members develop since initially creating sCOOP in 2014.

A full press release can be found here.