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$579 Checks to Members to be Mailed Sept. 15

Sale of 230-kV Lines to benefit, members, Co-op, community

PAHRUMP, Nev. (Sept. 11, 2017) – Valley Electric Association member-owners could have their first checks from the sale of VEA’s 230-kilovolt transmission system in time for the Pahrump Fall Festival, VEA Chief Executive Officer Thomas H. Husted announced Sept. 7 at the third quarter VEA Ambassador meeting.

“That’s a huge, huge evolutionary process for this organization,” he said.

Husted said the co-op took an $80 million asset, sold it for far more than it cost to build and will continue to operate, maintain and manage it for decades to come. He added that GridLiance Holdco will be able to expand the system beyond what was possible in VEA’s charter to “enhance the entire southern part of Nevada.”

VEA CEO Tom Husted discusses VEA issues at the Third Quarter Ambassador Meeting

Husted said checks in the amount of $579 to more than 17,400 members (totaling $10 million) are set to go out Sept. 15. A second round of $7.5 million in patronage capital checks in amounts that will vary based on how much and how long member-owners contributed to the system will follow.

 “What’s nice about that is, that’s all new money,” Husted told the assembled Ambassadors. “That’s not money that’s already in this community that’s being recycled. That’s $17.5 million of brand new money coming from elsewhere into this community, and you’re going to see it.”

The checks were a result of the sale of VEA’s 230-kilovolt transmission sale to GridLiance Holdco. The sale was approved by VEA’s membership in the fall of 2016 but has

VEA CEO Tom Husted discusses VEA issues at the Third Quarter Ambassador Meeting been held up by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. FERC did not have a quorum from February 2017 until a few weeks ago. With FERC approval of the sale now confirmed, the sale can close, said VEA officals.

Husted said VEA is also working on using some of the proceeds from the sale to leave a lasting legacy in Nye County. A committee of community members has met once, and there are plans to survey residents to see what type of project or facility receives the most support. Husted said he doesn’t know if it will end up being a recreation center with a swimming pool or a senior center.

“Communications is the key. And that’s not just us talking, it’s us listening,” he said. “At the end of the day, if we’re going to do something, then it has to have the buy-in of the community. And in order to have the buy-in of the community, we need to ask the community. We need to listen to the community, and see what those needs are.”

Sept. 15 is more than just a big check day, it’s also a big day for Valley Communications Association as the ribbon is cut on the fiber optic connection at the Beatty school. Husted said connecting Beatty to fiber will be a huge advancement for the entire community opening up online educational opportunities.

“It’s vitally important for us to be a part of that,” he said. “And it follows our original heritage. We were created in 1965 to provide electricity where no one else would. That same theory holds true today with communications. We know the large incumbent communications companies are not going to invest in rural Nevada. They’re not going to invest in rural America. So, then somebody has to step up, and that’s us.”

Stepping into communications is a great way to recycle capital into the community, Husted said.

“After all, we’re a poles and wires company, and this is just more wires.”

Husted said thanks to VCA’s efforts, Beatty will be the first all-fiber optic community in the state.

Ambassadors Kathy Mattocks, center, and Dina Williamson-Erdag were recognized for their work with the program.

In the fourth quarter Pahrump should see more fiber connections, too.

“The big push initially was to get (highways) 372 and 160 done so all the businesses and commerce had access to the main trunk lines,” Husted said. “Now that that has been concluded, we’re starting with the residential buildout.”

Ambassadors Kathy Mattocks, center, and Dina Williamson-Erdag were recognized for their work with the program.

About Valley Electric Association, Inc.

Valley Electric Association, Inc. (VEA) is a member-owned nonprofit electric utility headquartered in Pahrump, Nev. While VEA started as a small rural electric utility in 1965, the company now provides electric service to more than 45,000 people within a vast 6,800-square-mile service area located primarily along the California-Nevada border, with the majority in Nevada. Valley Communications Association (VCA), a wholly owned subsidiary of VEA, began proving high-speed communications to our member-owners in the spring of 2016. VEA’s service area starts in Sandy Valley, southwest of Las Vegas, and extends north for more than 250 miles to Fish Lake Valley. For more information about VEA, please visit www.vea.coop.



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