We’re thankful for our sister cooperatives

Posted on Oct 31 2019 in Orange County REMC
General Manager/CEO

When you think about Orange County REMC, you probably associate us with the local community. And you would be right. Our leadership team, board of directors and employees all live and work right here in the community we serve. But you may not realize that Orange County REMC is actually part of a much larger cooperative network that brings additional value, tools and knowledge that benefit you, the members of the co-op.

Cooperation Among Cooperatives

When a severe weather event is predicted for our region, we call on our sister co-ops in areas unaffected by the approaching storm. Through this system of mutual aid, other co-ops bring additional trucks, equipment and manpower to our area. We work together and share resources to restore power to our community. And Orange County REMC reciprocates by assisting other electric co-ops when they request help.

Another area in which Orange County REMC benefits from cooperation among cooperatives is cybersecurity. Through the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s (NRECA) “Rural Cooperative Cybersecurity Capabilities Program” (RC3), we are able to access training, resources and tools to strengthen our efforts to combat cyber threats.  We also utilize resources at our generation and transmission cooperative, Hoosier Energy, to harden our cybersecurity practices. 

Orange County REMC’s ability to tap into the larger electric cooperative network and access tools, products, resources and leading practices from across the nation ultimately makes our co-op and our community stronger. 

Bright spot

The Solar Utility Network Deployment Acceleration (SUNDA) project is another example of Orange County REMC benefitting from collaboration with other electric co-ops. 

Through the SUNDA project, electric co-ops were able to collect data and case studies that provide insight into challenges and solutions related to solar energy technologies. Now, we, along with other electric cooperatives across the country, have access to knowledge and resources to more efficiently tailor our renewable energy mix to meet the needs of our local communities. 

Global impact

Lastly, communities across the globe have benefitted from the lessons learned and experience of co-ops in electrification of the nation’s rural areas. 

NRECA International has provided access to reliable and affordable electricity to 120 million people in 43 countries. This effort is made possible through the support of electric co-ops in Indiana as well as across the country.  Orange County REMC has also directly participated in Project Indiana by providing monetary donations and manpower to construct electric facilities in Guatemala. Hundreds of lineworkers, engineers and other co-op employees have volunteered to bring first-time access to electricity and train local partners to help utilities be sustainable in their own communities. 

I am grateful for our sister co-ops who enable us to better serve you and our broader community. When electric co-ops collaborate, we strengthen each other and the communities we serve — and that is something in which to be truly thankful. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.