NRECA Named as Finalist for 2018 SEPA Power Player “Innovative Partner” Award

Arlington, Va. – The Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) has announced the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) as a finalist in the “Innovative Partner” category of the 2018 SEPA Power Player Awards.

NRECA is being recognized for the Solar Utility Network Deployment Acceleration project (SUNDA), a joint  effort between NRECA and 17 electric cooperative partners. The SUNDA project converted lessons from a combined 30MW solar deployment into an array of training, tools and technical assistance that enabled co-ops nationwide to quadruple their collective solar capacity over three years.

“By collaborating with our cooperative members, NRECA has  spread the benefits of this project to all electric cooperatives, with amazing results,” said NRECA CEO Jim Matheson. “Not only is the collective cooperative solar capacity expected to reach a gigawatt by the end of 2019, more than half of the nation’s cooperatives are extending the benefits of solar to local communities in 43 states.”

“The Power Players Awards underline the fact that the transition in our industry is being driven not only by technology, but by cross-industry innovation, partnerships and collaboration,” said SEPA President and CEO Julia Hamm. “Those stories are the ones that often fly under the media radar. Local, consumer-owned electric cooperatives are focused on ensuring this transition benefits customers, the grid and the economic development of their communities.”

The SEPA Power Players Awards are the premier industry accolade that honor utilities, their industry partners, and individual thought leaders providing the vision, models and momentum for the electric power industry’s smart transition to a clean, modern energy future. Awards are given in seven categories: Investor Owned, Public Power Utility and Electric Co-op of the Year; and Innovative Partner, Power Player, Change Agent and Visionary of the Year.

This year’s finalists were chosen from a field of 43 nominations. Winners will be announced in mid-June.



The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is the national trade association representing more than 900 local electric cooperatives. From growing suburbs to remote farming communities, electric co-ops serve as engines of economic development for 42 million Americans across 56 percent of the nation’s landscape. As local businesses built by the consumers they serve, electric cooperatives have meaningful ties to rural America and invest $12 billion annually in their communities.


About SEPA

The Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) is an educational nonprofit working to facilitate the utility industry’s transition to a clean energy future through education, research, standards and collaboration. SEPA offers a range of research initiatives and resources, as well as conferences, educational events and professional networking opportunities. SEPA is founder and co-sponsor of Solar Power International and winner of the Keystone Policy Center’s 2016 Leadership in Energy Award. For more information, visit

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