MONROE, Ga. — How will electricity be generated in the future? Walton Electric Membership Corporation (EMC) customer-owners attending the cooperative’s 79th annual meeting on June 20 got a glimpse of possible answers to that important question.
The annual event, held at the Walton County Agricultural Education Center, gives customer-owners the opportunity to participate in running their cooperative by electing representatives from among themselves to serve on the board of directors. They also get business updates and hear other details of the past year’s finances and operations.
“As elected board chair, my responsibility today is to give you a state of the co-op address and what we see going forward,” said Board Chair Dan Chelko. “Simply, we are improving all the time. We are financially sound and have the best possible employees to support our mission of reliable energy at the lowest possible cost.”
In his remarks, CEO Ronnie Lee discussed options to replace electrical generation lost from the closure of traditional coal plants. Some of the options he highlighted are nuclear, natural gas and solar.
“There’s no one single solution to solving our energy puzzle,” said Lee. “It will take a combination of traditional sources — like nuclear energy and natural gas — combined with new technologies — like solar — to get the job done.”
Lee also updated the group on the status of Walton EMC’s new solar generation project.
“Our first project consists of six acres of solar panels located beside our Monroe headquarters office,” said Lee. “I’m happy to say that many of you signed up right away and now there’s a waiting list. But don’t worry; we already have additional projects in the works.”
Also during the business session, three directors were re-elected to three-year terms. Those directors include Warren Few of the Bostwick/Apalachee/Rutledge district, Sam Simonton of the Bold Springs district and Jim Whitley of the Eastville district.
Customer-owners and their children enjoyed activities that are part of every annual meeting: entertainment, Kids’ Fest, a health fair and door prizes. W.R. Dolvin of Watkinsville won the grand prize: a pickup truck retired from Walton EMC’s service fleet.
Walton EMC provides electric service to 123,000 residential and business accounts in a 10-county area between Atlanta and Athens. Because its customers own the company, service — not profit — is Walton EMC’s primary focus.
Greg Brooks is the communications coordinator for Walton EMC.