The Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association (TREIA) has awarded a Special Recognition Award to Pedernales Electric for its recently adopted renewable energy goal. PEC received the award Nov. 11 at TREIA’s Texas Renewables 08 Conference in Austin.
“We’re honored to receive a Special Recognition Award,” PEC General Manager Juan Garza said later. “Our Board’s renewable energy goal represents a significant philosophical shift in direction for this Cooperative, but PEC staff is definitely aligned with this resolution,” Garza said. “We appreciate TREIA’s recognition of our initiative, and in pursuing this goal, we will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and be ahead of the curve for increased environmental legislation.”
Garza, PEC member Ric Sternberg and PEC District 7 Director Dr. Patrick Cox also received individual awards from TREIA for their efforts involved in bringing the renewable energy goal before the Board. “I appreciate this award as recognition of the efforts of everyone associated with PEC who is working to advance our mission,” Cox said later. “More than 70 years ago, electric cooperatives energized rural America, giving small communities a way to gain energy independence. PEC led the way in bringing energy to Central Texas. Today, as the largest electric cooperative in the nation, PEC will become a national leader in conservation and renewable energy.”
TREIA is a statewide non-profit organization of industries and individuals involved in solar, wind, biomass, geothermal and hydroelectric energy products and/or services. The organization has been a resolute advocate for clean energy, energy security, energy independence and Texas jobs since 1984. More information about TREIA is available at www.treia.org.
“Pedernales Electric Cooperative is the nation’s largest electric co-op,” said TREIA President Bob Webb. “Thus, their decision is even more significant. It challenges co-ops across the country by its example.”
PEC’s Board of Directors voted unanimously at its Oct. 20 meeting in Kyle to “establish a goal to purchase or generate up to 30 percent of its electricity from renewable energy by the year 2020.”
“I believe it is imperative for PEC to be the standard-bearer in setting a progressive renewable energy goal,” Cox said after the meeting. “As a substantial purchaser and distributor of electric power, it is crucial for us to consider how electricity generation affects our environment and where we’ll get our power from in the future.”
The new Board resolution represents a threefold increase in the amount of renewable electricity the Cooperative already planned to bring on line in the immediate future. While PEC does not currently generate the electricity it distributes, about 10 percent of the electricity the Cooperative plans to buy in 2009 will come from renewable sources. PEC purchases 98 percent of its electricity from the Lower Colorado River Authority, with whom the Cooperative is working to finalize a new wholesale power contract. To help PEC work toward reaching its goals, “Progressive Power” provisions in the proposed new contract call for LCRA to work with the Cooperative in the development and potential funding of conservation, demand-side management, energy efficiency, renewable energy and distributed energy programs.
With the renewable energy resolution in place, PEC will now begin developing standards and analyzing costs related to achieving the goal. PEC also plans to seek input from members on proposed strategies.
The new resolution was devised by Cox, District 3 Director Kathryn Scanlon and District 6 Advisory Director Dr. Charles Tesar. Cox, Scanlon and Tesar also developed the Cooperative’s conservation resolution passed last month, which established a formal Cooperative goal to achieve an “up to 20 percent reduction in the electricity requirements of residential and commercial users.”