As 2020 approaches, I find myself excited not only about the year ahead, but about what the next decade will look like at the Cooperative. 2020 will be a transitional year at GVEC—no doubt about it. Our aim will be to identify the future needs and initiatives of our members, community leaders and organizations. This will enable us to begin planning for the evolution of what GVEC solutions will look like in the next five to 10 years. At the same time, we’ll be working hard to maintain the commitment to serving and improving lives that formed GVEC’s foundation more than 80 years ago. Here’s a preview of some of what we’re working on for 2020.

Electric Vehicles

2019 saw the preliminary rollout of EV charging stations at our Seguin Customer Service Center and Western Operations Center, both located off IH-10. We opened these public, fee-based “Power Towers™” months after purchasing “Sparky” at the end of 2018, the Cooperative’s first-ever EV. Experts predict that EVs will make up over half of all vehicles sold by 2040. This will place unprecedented demand on the electric grid, and now is the time for us to study the potential effects and challenges. Our Power Tower EV Charging Stations, along with Sparky, will deliver critical data regarding how widespread EV charging may impact the GVEC grid.

Home Battery Solutions, New Demand Response and Business Initiatives

We aim to put more focus on battery storage options for the home in 2020. These products, which work in conjunction with solar panel systems, can provide multiple days of backup power in case of an outage, while offering day-to-day energy savings. As the tools for managing demand on our grid continue evolving in 2020 and beyond, GVEC members can rest assured we’ll keep exploring new ways to maintain stable rates. These efforts will include continual evaluation of peak time programs (like Rush Hour Rewards®) and the consideration of additional renewable offerings as members request them. Additionally, we’ll be placing focus on commercial members and customers to help meet their renewable and/or distributed generation goals. This will help us gather data and create standards and new offerings in this sector in the years ahead.

Our March Toward GVEC Fiber Continues

Our commitment to delivering high-speed GVEC Fiber Internet across the Guadalupe Valley will continue in 2020, with almost 5,100 passings planned to be installed between New Berlin, Gonzales, Cibolo, Seguin and Adkins. We’ll also continue investing in enhancements to GVEC Wireless Internet offerings.

Commitments to Community and Improving Lives

As I’ve mentioned before, community support has defined GVEC for over eight decades, and it will remain among our priorities in 2020. This commitment includes assistance and sponsorship for community events and initiatives, and Chamber of Commerce activities. It also includes volunteering time and resources to programs and organizations across the Guadalupe Valley that improve the lives of those we serve. Other community initiatives we’ll continue for 2020 include our nonprofit grants, community presentations, high school scholarships and economic development activities.

I am always interested in your comments and feedback. Contact me by phone at 830.857.1152, by email at dschauer@gvec.org or by mail at P.O. Box 118, Gonzales, Texas 78629.

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