Welcome to Power Plays, a podcast series dedicated to the U.S. power and energy sector. Hosted by Teri Viswanath, lead energy economist with CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange division, Power Plays connects you with top energy and environmental innovators, policy makers and rural electric cooperative executives for timely insights and in-depth market analysis.
Don’t Be Afraid of Your Electricity Bill
As electric co-ops balance affordability and reliability, how should they price electricity? CoBank’s Teri Viswanath and Tamra Reynolds consider evolving rate design with respected author and renowned energy economist Dr. Ahmad Faruqui, and Allison Hamilton, director of rates and market design at NRECA. Then they follow with two co-ops’ very different but fascinating rate journeys, speaking with Mark Johnson, general manager of Flathead Electric Cooperative, Kalispell, Montana, and Ed VanHoose, president of Federated Energy Services Cooperative in Ohio.
Power Plays S2E6: Connected Smart Homes Coming Soon to an Electric Co-op Near You
Solar panels, backup generators, smart home devices: As more consumers adopt disruptive technology, what does it mean for electric co-ops? CoBank’s Teri Viswanath and Tamra Reynolds explore the way forward as consumer technology upends the traditional relationship. Their guests include J.T. Thompson with Generac Grid Services, Nora Barr Hennings with Sunrun, and Jim Bagley, CEO of United Electric Cooperative in Missouri, who shares the win-win solutions he’s creating with his members.
Power Plays S2E5 - Connected and Committed: Meet the Partners Helping to Close the Rural Digital Divide
The spirit of the rural electrification movement of the 1930s is alive today as electric cooperatives leverage federal support to close rural America’s digital divide. In this episode, CoBank’s Teri Viswanath, Tamra Reynolds and Doran Dennis showcase success stories from co-ops providing rural communities with reliable, affordable broadband access. Guests include Carl Meyerhoefer, senior vice president of business development at Conexon; Aaron Bennett, vice president of broadband development at NRTC; and Colin Wood, CEO of TWN Communications. Listen as they share the keys to effective broadband partnerships and multiple paths to a successful outcome.
Power Plays S2E4: Planning for Tomorrow’s EV Adoption Begins Today
Around 15,000 fully electric or hybrid electric vehicles were traveling American roads in 2011; today that number exceeds 2 million and is accelerating rapidly. But is the U.S. power grid ready to meet the expanding charging needs? In this episode, CoBank’s Teri Viswanath and Tamra Reynolds are joined by a cast of experts to discuss the state of EV readiness in the U.S. Guests include Brian Sloboda of NRECA; Scott Hammond of Central Electric Power Cooperative and Peter Muhoro with Rappahannock Electric Cooperative. Listen to their discussion for insights from a variety of perspectives.
Power Plays S2E3: Inside Ford’s Strategy to Lead America’s Shift to Electric Vehicles
Recorded in the CoBank booth at the NRECA Annual Conference, in this episode of Power Plays CoBank’s Teri Viswanath talks with Dave Hurst, energy services manager with Ford Motor Company. He reveals what the company has learned as it embraces the EV market. Plus, Dr. Gil Tal, director of the Electric Vehicle Research Center at UC Davis, unpacks the factors ahead for EV adoption – including manufacturers’ role to make or break the market.
Power Plays S2E2: Reimagining Route 66: Co-ops Collaborate with EV Charging to Reinvigorate Rural America
The future of automobiles is clearly electric, and rural cooperatives across the U.S. are plugging in to ensure their communities are equipped with a robust EV charging infrastructure. In this episode, CoBank’s Teri Viswanath and Tamra Reynolds visit with Nate Boettcher, CEO of Pierce Pepin Cooperative Services in Wisconsin. Boettcher also serves as president of CHARGE EV, a coalition of nearly 70 co-ops that’s joined forces to build a thriving rural ecosystem for electric vehicle adoption. He explains why building regionally connected corridors will be critical for rural communities in the era of EVs. Plus, Brian Cavey, CoBank's senior vice president of government affairs, discusses the impact of two pieces of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that are critical to rural America—EV charging infrastructure and broadband access.