Reliable power for today … and tomorrow

Mr. Fettes' headshot
Chris Fettes, Chief Executive Officer

Ringing in a new year sparks a sense of renewed hope and optimism about the future. As the CEO of Coastal Electric Cooperative, it’s a time to reflect on where we are and where we’re going. At the heart of this reflection, I think about ways we can better serve you, the members of the cooperative.

Our team at Coastal Electric is always looking ahead, exploring ways to innovate and utilize new technologies to improve our services. As our nation increasingly relies on electricity to power the economy, keeping the lights on has never been more important. We’re committed to powering—and empowering—our community at a cost local families and businesses can afford.

So how are we working to ensure reliable and affordable power while adapting to a changing energy landscape and our community’s evolving needs?

One critical component of reliable power is the mix of energy resources used to generate the electricity that keeps the lights on across coastal Georgia. You may not realize it, but Coastal Electric doesn’t generate electricity (not counting our few small solar arrays). Instead, we purchase the majority from our energy provider, Oglethorpe Power Corp., and from there, we distribute it to homes and businesses throughout our community. Our current energy resource mix is made up of natural gas, pumped-storage hydro, solar, coal and a growing supply of emissions-free nuclear, thanks to the addition of Plant Vogtle Unit 3, and soon, Unit 4.

We’re increasingly using more electricity generated from renewable energy sources, but we still depend on a diverse energy mix to ensure reliable power that’s available to our members whenever they need it.

In addition to managing a reliable energy mix, Coastal Electric uses technology to enhance our local grid, limit service disruptions and improve outage response times.

Advanced metering infrastructure, also known as AMI, enables two-way communication between the co-op and consumers. In the event of a power outage, AMI helps pinpoint the exact location of the outage and can even analyze damaged or tampered meters. AMI helps Coastal Electric save money with real-time data and, ultimately, improves power reliability for our entire community.

Proactive tree trimming is another way we limit service disruptions. Scheduled trimming helps keep power lines clear from overgrown limbs that are likely to fall. Regular inspections of lines and vegetation have allowed us to reduce labor and equipment costs while bolstering reliability.

One of the best methods for improving our services to you is monitoring trends and leading practices from other electric co-ops in Georgia and across the country. Learning from other co-ops is one of the many benefits of the cooperative business model because for us, it’s about cooperation, not competition.

As we turn our focus to 2024, Coastal Electric will continue working to provide the reliable, affordable electricity you expect and deserve— for today and tomorrow.

Chris Fettes
CEO and Executive Vice President