Electric cooperatives across Ohio had a busy and largely successful 2018, continuing to improve the reliability of your electric service while striving to hold down cost.
The year’s highlights:
- Assuming operational responsibility from AEP for the Cardinal, Mone, and Greenville power plants. Initial results are promising, as we focus on running the plants safely, reliably, cost-competitively, and in an environmentally responsible manner.
- The Cardinal Power Plant staff achieved two milestones never before seen in the plant’s 50-year history: 2 million hours without a lost-time injury and 1.5 million hours without an injury requiring an employee to be transferred or absent. Plant leaders are prepared to roll out the “Commitment to Zero Harm” initiative, designed to reduce the possibility of injuries both at work at a home — a mindset that already exists at our plants.
- A team of 17 linemen from Ohio’s electric cooperatives journeyed to Guatemala to power two villages — Las Tortugas and San Jorge, bringing the benefits of electric service for the first time to nearly 1,000 impoverished residents. Donations from cooperative employees across the state provided shoes, electric stove tops, water filters, and school supplies to further benefit the people of those communities.
- Dozens of line workers and support staff from cooperatives throughout Ohio spent several days assisting cooperatives in North Carolina with restoring power to thousands of members after devastating damage from the one-two punch of hurricanes Florence and Michael.
- Expansion of education programs for cooperative directors and employees helped your cooperative provide the best possible electric service at a reasonable cost. The Central Ohio Lineworker Training program saw its biggest year yet. The four-year apprentice curriculum provides a path to journeyman certification, with hands-on training happening year-round in our state-of-the-art indoor facility.
- Long-term efforts to work with other utilities that own and operate the high-voltage grid facilities delivering power from our plants to your local cooperatives resulted in far fewer outages in recent years — about half of what we experienced 10 years ago.
- Efforts to control costs enabled us to, once again, keep electric generation and transmission rates flat. The better news? Rates are likely to remain stable in 2019.
It was a productive, eventful year for the men and women who work for Ohio’s electric cooperatives. I thank each of them for their diligent efforts to serve you. I’m also grateful for your continued patronage and support of your local electric cooperative.