As it does every year, the flip of the calendar brings both opportunities and challenges, and while our challenges for the coming year are significant, the prospects for 2022 seem exciting. The importance of Ohio’s electric cooperatives getting it right — meeting our challenges and seizing those opportunities — is as important as it’s ever been.
Safe, reliable, and affordable electric service has been our mission since electric cooperatives first began serving members 85 years ago. It’s never been good enough to get one or two of those right; we’ve always focused on all three, and we face challenges and see opportunities in each of those areas in the coming year.
Our training and development programs are an essential building block of everything we do. We’re currently training 125 apprentice lineworkers from cooperatives across Ohio and providing courses for more experienced lineworkers in new and emerging work practices. Additionally, directors of each Ohio electric cooperative keep current with courses on governance, new technologies, and business planning, and our new Leadership Edge program develops skills for future cooperative leaders. Together, these programs ensure your cooperative is operating with the best possible policies and procedures.
We continue to look for potential operational improvements at our power plants. As they represent the largest portion of our cost structure, they provide opportunities for efficiencies. At the same time, our “all-of-the-above” supply mix is designed to meet your needs during any type of weather. We expect more challenging environmental regulations in the coming year, and we’ll persist in balancing environmental improvements with impacts on cost and availability.
Finally, the network of high-voltage transmission lines that move power from our power plants to your local cooperative’s facilities are undergoing significant changes (see our Key to Reliability story for more information). We purchase transmission service from investor-owned utilities, and newer transmission lines are bringing about higher costs. We’re always vigilant to ensure your interests are represented in the planning and development of those new facilities, because we must realize the most value from those increasing costs.
Wishing you all a happy and safe new year.