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About Valley Electric Association, Inc.

Valley Electric Association, Inc. (VEA) is a member-owned electric cooperative headquartered in Pahrump, Nevada. While VEA started as a small, rural electric cooperative in 1965, the organization now provides 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. VEA’s service area starts in Sandy Valley, southwest of Las Vegas, and extends north for more than 250 miles to Fish Lake Valley and beyond. VEA’s residential members are the co-op’s largest single consumer group. More recently, VEA’s member base has grown to include high-profile federal government facilities in Nevada, including the Nevada National Security Site and Creech Air Force Base.

Planning for increased load demand and accommodating member growth are among the challenges VEA faces as it looks to the future. VEA does not generate the electrical energy it supplies to members and buys most of its power on the open market. The cooperative strives to find the lowest cost wholesale power available to minimize rate increases to VEA members. The cooperative’s members have experienced long-term rate stability as a result of VEA’s efforts to secure new power purchase agreements and acquire valuable new sources of revenue.

Throughout the cooperative’s rich history, VEA has been led by its democratically elected Board of Directors, providing member-owners with a voice in all policy decisions made by the cooperative. Board members have been an essential part of VEA’s continued growth and community contributions. In 2015, VEA celebrated 50 years of member-owned leadership, recognizing the members, board representatives and employees who have contributed to the cooperative’s success during the past half-century. 

 

The Cooperative Business Model

Today, there are more than 900 electric cooperatives spanning 47 states and serving more than 42 million members. Cooperative members are not simply rate payers; they are owners who have a say in how their utility is run.

The Seven Cooperative Principles play a valuable role in guiding the actions of VEA. By adhering to the following principles, VEA provides its members with a wide variety of unique benefits, including democratic control of the cooperative, community assistance programs, and opportunities for education and training. These principles include:

• Voluntary and Open Membership

• Democratic Member Control

• Members’ Economic Participation

• Autonomy and Independence

• Education, Training and Information

• Cooperation Among Cooperatives

• Concern for Community

 

VEAs History

VEAs beginnings are rooted in three separate early power companies: White Mountain Electric Cooperative, the Pahrump Utility Company and Amargosa Valley Electric Cooperative, Inc. In an effort to increase the likelihood of securing funding from the Rural Electrification Administration (REA), the Pahrump Utility Company and Amargosa Valley Electric Cooperative, Inc. merged in 1962 and took the name Amargosa Valley Co-op (AVC).

The AVC later purchased the Beatty Utility Company. In addition, the White Mountain Electric Co-op in Fish Lake Valley voted to use the AVC’s management, office, engineering and other services to reduce its costs. In 1965, these entities incorporated as Valley Electric Association, Inc., establishing a single, united utility and setting the course for future growth and success.

Original Pahrump VEA OfficeFor many years, our main office was located in Las Vegas. In 1981, the co-op built a new office in Pahrump, a central location within our service territory. That facility served the co-op well until load growth required a larger building. VEA's current headquarters campus opened for business in October 1997.

In recognition of VEA’s 50th anniversary in 2015, the cooperative released an in-depth documentary in an effort to chronicle the history of VEA and the pioneers who brought electricity to communities across southwestern Nevada. The documentary, “Lighting the Dark” is available for public viewing.

 

VEA Looks to the FutureInnovation Building Image

VEA has experienced a significant amount of growth and success in recent years, including the expansion of the cooperative’s infrastructure and a variety of other proactive efforts developed to build a brighter future for the cooperative’s member-owners. In 2013, VEA became the first out-of-state utility to join the California Independent System Operator Corporation (CAISO) balancing authority, opening the door to a wide range of renewable energy projects in Nevada by providing energy producers with a more cost-effective solution for delivering power to customers in California. This involvement also allows VEA to provide excess transmission capacity on its system to the CAISO, maximizing the utilization of the cooperative’s assets.

In addition, VEA recently announced its plans to provide optical fiber broadband communications service to all homes and businesses in its service area. VEA recognizes the need for improved high-speed communication and Internet service, and the cooperative plans to offer the most advanced communications network in the valley. This service is a significant milestone for VEA, serving as an extension of the cooperative’s long-term commitment to developing innovative new opportunities for the benefit of the communities it serves. VEA plans to introduce this service in the near future, providing a new, high-speed communications service directly from VEA’s advanced optical fiber network.

 

VEAs Service Territory

Service Territory Map-Click for Larger View

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