Sen. Heller Praises Innovation at Valley Electric

Pledges help, assistance with key issues confronting Cooperative

PAHRUMP, Nev. (April 24, 2017) – U.S. Sen. Dean Heller on Saturday praised efforts by Valley Electric Association to bring high-speed communications to rural areas of Western Nevada.

U.S. Senator Heller image
U.S. Senator Heller

Sen. Heller was the keynote speaker at the meeting, attended by approximately 1,200 members at Pahrump Valley High School. Heller pledged his support and assistance in addressing two issues of particular interest to VEA member-owners:

– Urging the Trump Administration to nominate new members to fill open seats on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The sale of VEA’s 230 kilovolt transmission system has been delayed until the FERC has a quorum. Currently, three of the five seats on the commission are vacant. Once FERC approves the transmission sale, and transaction closes, VEA members will receive premium checks for $579.

– Urging the Bureau of Land Management to sign off on VEA’s plans to hang fiber-optic cable on existing power poles in order to serve the residents of Sandy Valley with high-speed broadband.

“I believe VEA is at the forefront of significant technological developments” that are helping residents in rural Nevada, said Heller. “Like you, I want to see this (high-speed fiber) service expand to all, but the federal government has got to get out of your way.”

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VEA Chief Executive Officer Tom Husted and U.S. Senator Dean Heller

In the past 12 months, Valley Communications Association, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of VEA, has connected nearly 5,500 residents and businesses to broadband within VEA’s service territory.

Before Saturday’s meeting, Heller toured Desert View Hospital in Pahrump to participate in a ribbon-cutting for the hospital’s second all-fiber broadband circuit from VCA in its radiology department.

During Saturday’s meeting, member-owners also saw demonstrations on how the Cooperative has evolved in the past 12 months through major projects like broadband, the Electric Vehicle Charging Station at Beatty and the Community Solar Project at Pahrump.

About Valley Electric Association, Inc.

Valley Electric Association, Inc. (VEA) is a member-owned nonprofit electric utility headquartered in Pahrump, Nev. While VEA started as a small rural electric utility in 1965, the company now provides electric service to more than 45,000 people within a vast 6,800-square-mile service area located primarily along the California-Nevada border, with the majority in Nevada. Valley Communications Association (VCA), a wholly owned subsidiary of VEA, began proving high-speed communications to our member-owners in the spring of 2016. VEA’s service area starts in Sandy Valley, southwest of Las Vegas, and extends north for more than 250 miles to Fish Lake Valley. For more information about VEA, please visit www.vea.coop.