Co-op Spotlight: Buckeye Rural Electric Cooperative
Operating from Rio Grande, Buckeye Rural Electric Cooperative covers an expansive territory in southern Ohio, serving 18,562 consumer-members in nine counties: Athens, Gallia, Jackson, Lawrence, Meigs, Pike, Ross, Scioto, and Vinton. Buckeye REC’s territory is in the Ohio Appalachians, one of the most scenic parts of the state. The area’s rolling hills and mountains and natural flora and fauna are unmatched for beauty in any season.
Buckeye REC’s territory encompasses portions of Wayne National Forest, the only national forest in Ohio, which covers over a quarter-million acres of unglaciated terrain in the Appalachian foothills of southeastern Ohio. The forest offers opportunities for outdoors enthusiasts to pursue their passions, including mountain biking, camping, fishing, horseback riding, ATV riding, boating, archery, canoeing and kayaking, or even just soaking in nature’s spectacular sights.
Working for business
Buckeye REC proudly supports economic development and job creation within the community.
In 2019, Buckeye REC was awarded a $2.5 million grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission POWER Initiative that will provide funds for fiber optic cable to connect cooperative substations in six counties and pave the way for future broadband expansion to members from internet service providers.
Additionally, Buckeye REC recently provided an economic development grant through Ohio’s Electric Cooperatives for site work needed to obtain “construction-ready” SiteOhio authentication at the Dan Evans Industrial Park II, which will allow potential developers to immediately build on the site. The cooperative also used site readiness grant funds to prepare their 13-acre Echo Valley substation property for future development.
From offering school visits and teaching electrical safety, to partnering with the Red Cross for a blood drive, Buckeye REC participates in programs to benefit all members of their communities. Buckeye even donated a bucket truck to Buckeye Hills Career Center for use in the center’s power lineman training program.
Through the electric cooperative Youth Tour, Buckeye REC sends a high school student to Washington, D.C., each year to learn about our nation. Scholarships for high school seniors (including a recently introduced technical scholarship) provide assistance for children of members to pursue higher education. This past holiday season, when Gallia County Local Schools was unable to hold its annual food drive, Buckeye Rural employees helped fill the need by donating cash to cover the cost of feeding seven families — all part of the co-op’s guiding principle of Concern for Community.