Co-op’s Energy Solutions Expo highlights technology innovations

More than 200 community members gathered for Roanoke Electric Co-op’s recent Energy Solutions Expo, showcasing cutting-edge technologies and the many energy-saving benefits they stand to offer this region.

From electric-powered vehicles to smart energy devices, the event underscored the importance of utilizing a variety of energy solutions to reduce costs and electricity consumption for member-owners.

“Those pocketbook issues create burdens for our families, and that’s something we’re trying to help alleviate,” Co-op President and CEO Curtis Wynn said during his opening remarks. “Cost containment for the cooperative is also important, making sure we keep our costs down so that we can maintain our rates. And on top of all that, we want to be good stewards of the environment.”

One of the many highlights of the Oct. 1 event at the Ahoskie Ampitheater was the showcase of electric vehicles, including the co-op’s Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model 3.

Perhaps the biggest attraction was a 77-passenger electric school bus, compliments of Thomas Built Buses. Mark Childers, a company representative, said the manufacturer has already delivered 96 electric buses throughout the country, with plans to deliver some to school districts in the Roanoke-Chowan area soon.

The co-op event, the first of its kind, shined a new light on many of innovative solutions and strategies the co-op has undertaken, as the transition toward a clean energy future gains momentum nationwide.

“The work that we are doing is consistent and in concert with Governor Roy Cooper’s Executive Order on Clean Transportation as well as our federal government, which has the strong prospect of passing major legislation into law that supports clean transportation.”

Wynn noted that this legislation comes with major financial incentives that make doing so affordable for everyday citizens – not just those who enjoy high incomes. “At Roanoke, we believe that no one should be left behind from the energy transformation that is happening right in front of us.”