wilderness with snowy mountains in background

You’re Invited to Electrify the Big Sky!

Posted: July 1, 2022
Mark Hayden, GM

I am pleased to announce that in partnership with Montana Electric Cooperatives’ Association (MECA), the Beneficial Electrification League (BEL) and the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), MEC will play host to Montana’s first beneficial electrification conference titled, “Electrify the Big Sky.” Originally slated for last fall, the conference was postponed due to the rise in COVID cases. Although we were disappointed to postpone the event, it gave us additional time to solicit guest speakers and enhance the event agenda.

I’d like to personally invite you to join us on Tuesday, September 13th from 7:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. in the University Center Ballroom at the University of Montana. The conference is open to the public and is $20 per ticket, which includes a breakfast and lunch buffet. Understanding the importance of the subject matter, the Cooperative Board voted to offer free admission to the first 100 Cooperative members who pre-register on the event website, www.electrifythebigsky.com, using promo code “Save20”. It is worth noting that these complimentary tickets will be on a first-come-first-served basis.

Like many, you may hear the term beneficial electrification and think, “what is this and how is it relevant to me?” Beneficial electrification includes the application of electricity to end-uses, where doing so satisfies at least one of the following conditions, without adversely affecting others; it saves consumers money over time; benefits the environment and reduces greenhouse gas emissions; improves product quality or consumer quality of life; and fosters a more robust, resilient grid. To put it as simply as possible, beneficial electrification uses electricity to improve quality of life for all.

As a consumer of electricity, it is important to understand the transformative changes the electrical industry will take on in the coming years. Conference presentations will feature industry experts from across the United States who will lay out an assessment of the goals for beneficial electrification as well as the work required to successfully achieve them. We are eager to welcome experts from Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), National Rural Electric Cooperatives Association (NRECA), and the like, to cover a wide range of topics. Featured content will delve into the opportunities and challenges surrounding beneficial electrification, such as, having adequate capacity to meet growing demand. Attendees will also leave with an understanding of what actions they can take concerning the electrification of their homes, ranches and vehicles.

Electrify the Big Sky is a localized approach to similar conferences held in several other cities across America. We’re excited to bring top industry experts to Western Montana to share relevant, timely and important information with our members, their neighbors and the greater community. Attendees can also take advantage of the Electric Vehicle (EV) Trade Show, which is scheduled to run throughout the conference, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The trade show will offer attendees the opportunity to view and/or test drive the latest in electric transportation, including electric vehicles, electric bikes, surfboards, paddleboards, lawn equipment and the Nation’s first electric tractor.*

September is just around the corner. I encourage you to take advantage of the Cooperative’s limited offer and pre-register with promo code “Save20” before it’s too late. We look forward to welcoming you to the first conference of its kind in Montana – join us as we, “Electrify the Big Sky!”

*The EV line up will be based on market availability at the time of the conference.