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President and CEO of Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association Jeff Wadsworth has been named Fortnightly Foremost Innovator in Microgrids for 2020 for his outstanding innovation.
The recognition was awarded by Public Unity Fortnightly, which provides a forum for stakeholders within the utility industry to engage in open discussions and debate the best course for the public interest. The yearly Fortnightly Top Innovators awards chooses the most outstanding for ten categories of innovation.
“This recognition is a true testament to the dedication and innovative spirit of the employee team at Poudre Valley REA,” said Jeff. “Their efforts to make this project a reality will have a meaningful and lasting impact on the members and communities we serve,” Jeff said.
Jeff was honored for Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association’s (PVREA) work of installing a microgrid for the community of Red Feather Lakes, which is served by one transmission line prone to damage caused by weather, natural disasters, and human accidents. The microgrid will provide resiliency to the electric grid for the area, supporting members through crisis events and seasonal weather challenges.
PVREA’s role in the project was to bring people together in a cooperative spirit to better the lives of the community and region in general. The microgrid is one of the first to be put in place within the state.
“This microgrid really is a cutting-edge technology, and it’s moving fast too,” said Jeff. “Our hope and desire, once we have this up and running in Red Feather Lakes, is to be able to use that as an illustration and example in sharing,” Jeff said.
PVREA is also working with the Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association and the U.S. Department of Energy under Jeff’s leadership to construct a microgrid that will maintain reliability in the remote and mountainous Red Feather Lakes community. The recent Cameron Peak Fire impacted the original schedule for installing the microgrid.
There will be an installation of a battery at the community fire station this December, which will increase the electrical grid resiliency for the volunteer fire department and their first responders throughout the winter. PVREA’s goal is to have the microgrid fully operational by the spring of 2021.
“We are absolutely going to provide this information about the positives and lessons learned as we move forward with this technology,” said Jeff.
For more information regarding the up-to-date progress of the Red Feather Lakes microgrid, including other stories from Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association, visit: www.pvrea.coop