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For Electric Cooperative Members

Magic Valley EC News

President’s Message 2019

We are growing at a rapid but manageable pace; our plans are solid, and the cooperative remains financially strong

I am pleased to report to you, our member-owners, that the state of your cooperative is still strong and vibrant. This is because our membership is diverse and loyal to Magic Valley Electric Cooperative.

We are also diverse in how we obtain electricity through our Generation & Transmission provider, South Texas Electric Cooperative.

The energy we deliver to your homes and businesses comes from a number of generation resources, which include lignite coal, natural gas, hydro, solar and wind. Our diverse energy portfolio enables us to deliver safe, reliable and affordable electricity to our members.

As the Rio Grande Valley continues to grow, MVEC continues to grow along with it. During the year of 2018, we added 3,966 new members, which means at year’s end, we had a total membership of 103,145. There were 118,040 meters connected to our system, which makes us the third largest cooperative in Texas, and twenty second largest in the United States.

We also added close to $20 million of equipment to our plant, which consists of poles, wires, transformers and other items needed to keep pace with growth as well as operate and maintain your electric cooperative. Included in this number was the construction of 20 miles of overhead and 48 miles of underground lines that were added to the system in 2018, giving us a total of 5,249 miles of energized lines. That is roughly the equivalent of taking a road trip from Mercedes to Los Angeles to Chicago and back to Mercedes.

In fact, we are growing so fast that we have outgrown our current facilities. Last year, Cooperative Building Solutions, a facilities consultant specializing in serving electric cooperatives, conducted a study of our current situation and what our expected growth will require. Based on their findings, they recommended that if a new operations center was built, it would satisfy the needs of Magic Valley for a number of years to come. 

The new operations center will be a multi-use building that will house services such as Magic Valley’s Call Center, our Technical Services Division and our System Control Center. The new building will also include a warehouse and a mechanical shop to service our vehicle fleet.

In January of 2019, your board of directors officially approved moving forward with this project and anticipates completing the new operations center within the next 2-3 years.

With the completion of the operations center, some space at our Mercedes headquarters building will be freed up, which will allow us to make some needed renovations.

Building a new operations center and updating the headquarters building is how we are planning for the future, so that we can continue to provide our members with world class service.

At the federal level, NRECA, our national association, represents us in Washington D.C. They keep us informed on legislation that affects our industry. These topics include energy regulation, infrastructure modernization, funding for research and development of renewable resources, exploring electrical battery storage and, above all, protecting the electric grid from cyber-attacks, both foreign and domestic.

Cyber-attacks are a threat that wasn’t even on our radar five years ago. But today, we take them seriously here at MVEC because they are a true threat. We have a dedicated team that monitors and protects our computer system and its connection to the internet to ensure that we are keeping our members’ information safe.

So, to sum up this report, 2018 was a great year for MVEC. We are growing at a rapid but manageable pace; our plans for the future are solid and the cooperative remains financially strong. It is for this reason that we were able to return over $5.5 million in capital credits in 2018 and have approved, once again, the distribution of capital credits in August of 2019.

Be assured that we will continue to strive to provide you safe, reliable, affordable electricity, with world class service.