Q&A with Patrick Delaney, candidate for Yampa Valley Electric Association board, District 5
Q. What qualifies you to serve on the YVEA board?
A. I am a long-time resident of Routt County who is a business owner and involved community volunteer. I have extensive experience in customer service, leadership, management, strategic planning, budgeting and project management. At Resort Lodging Company, I work with 55 individual board members overseeing 11 different communities on a daily basis and understand what members require of those who represent them. At Wild Goose Coffee at the Hayden Granary, I interact with members of and visitors to our community on a daily basis over good coffee and lovingly prepared food. I am interested in the business of the distribution of electricity and broadband and, if elected, look forward to contributing to this successful organization.
A. I recognize that most of us take it for granted that we can flick on a switch and have light and heat in our homes. I am excited about the future of local energy distribution and look forward to helping guide our cooperative in the quest to provide affordable, clean, locally generated power and efficient affordable broadband. YVEA has excellent management and staff who do a great job overseeing the day-to-day operations. Board members need to be focused on strategic planning and ensuring that the future of the organization is strong. For example, with new low carbon emission requirements, how can we work within our existing contract limitations to meet new standards while keeping electricity affordable and local? This is a challenge I look forward to helping solve.
Q. What are your goals for YVEA?
A. • Involvement by the owner members: Our electric cooperative has approximately 28,000 members. This is an incredible community of knowledge and wisdom. How can we engage this wisdom for the benefit of our community?
- More transparency and availability: Most people cannot attend a day-long board meeting on a Tuesday in Steamboat Springs. If you want a voice or if you are interested in the oversight of our cooperative, how can you participate?
- Continuation of affordable, local, clean, safe power: The next 20 years will be incredibly exciting as we transition to a renewable energy economy. While many factors will be out of the control of YVEA, we will need to do our part to thread the needle and continue to provide affordable, locally produced clean energy.
- Engagement with community in economic development through broadband and facilitation of funding sources.
- Growing our electric and broadband cooperative into an organization that continues to reflect the community it serves.
Q. What do you see as YVEA’s goal in the community?
A. As a cooperative, YVEA’s mission is to provide value to its member owners by providing safe and reliable electric service in an environmentally and financially responsible manner. The good people who work for this organization are passionate about serving the community and improving the business. They work to ensure that our electricity — and soon broadband — remains consistent and affordable to all the members served. We need to make certain that the infrastructure that delivers power throughout our communities is robust and that the source of energy delivered is stable and secure. I know YVEA also takes pride in ensuring that much of the power delivered to members is generated locally. Election information
Q. How do you view the future of energy in the Yampa Valley?
A. Reliance on coal for electrical energy production and economic vitality is changing dramatically. We need multiple sources of energy production to ensure cost-effective and environmentally responsible energy production. The economics of cleaner energy are becoming a reality. I am participating in our local solar cooperative because the economics work. Locally produced and stored energy makes sense. Local coal burned in state of the art plant has to be part of the solution for the time being. Our community will need to work with developers and individuals to establish sufficient solar and other clean energy resources. YVEA will play a huge role in sorting through solutions that are strong, reliable, affordable and unique to our community.
In an effort to make coal more competitive against natural gas and renewable energy sources, two of the nation’s largest coal companies, Peabody Energy and Arch Coal, have announced that they plan to combine assets in Colorado and Wyoming. Routt County’s Twentymile Mine would be managed under the new joint venture.