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Energy Innovation

Electric cooperatives are accelerating energy innovation throughout rural America. From establishing the first rural microgrids to pioneering the first electric school bus program, co-ops use cutting-edge technologies to build a brighter future.

Where we stand

NRECA supports policies that allow co-ops to make local decisions and enable them to invest in the energy innovation programs that work for the co-op and their members.

Digging deeper

Renewable energy

From 2010 to 2021, co-ops more than tripled their renewable capacity. Co-ops support policies that promote the responsible development of cost-effective renewables. We oppose government-imposed, one-size-fits-all mandates such as a renewable portfolio standard.

Energy storage

Co-ops have developed more than 65 energy storage projects, ranging from residential batteries to large utility-scale projects paired with renewable generation. Energy storage will play an increasingly important role as co-ops work to meet future energy needs. It is an important element of microgrids, including those that serve military installations.

Electric vehicles

As the nation’s transportation sector transitions to electric power, success will hinge on the successful build-out of robust EV charging infrastructure across America. Electric co-ops are a vital partner in the successful deployment of a nationwide network of EV public charging stations. Co-ops are committed to working with all serious stakeholders to ensure that rural communities aren’t left behind in the electric vehicle future.

Distributed energy resources

Electric co-ops are increasingly investing in sustainable distributed energy resources, which include wind and solar power, battery storage, energy efficiency and programs to help manage electricity demand. NRECA supports policies that enable co-ops to invest in the DER programs that work for the co-op and their members. Those decisions are best made by local co-ops, which focus on reliability, affordability and innovation for their consumer-members.

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