Bullhead City, AZ - The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) Board of Directors unanimously selected Mohave Electric Cooperative (MEC) to receive the prestigious Electric Cooperative Purpose Award, a national service award.
The Electric Cooperative Purpose Award recognizes an electric cooperative who works with their members to make outstanding contributions which result in visible, lasting improvements to the quality of life and the purpose of the cooperative in the community.
NRECA CEO Jim Matheson notified MEC of their selection for the award. “Mohave Electric Cooperative has undertaken the huge challenge of providing, high-speed, fiber-to-the-home to 36,000 members throughout northern Arizona. This project demonstrates the spirit in which the Electric Cooperative Purpose Award was established: to recognize exceptional leadership by electric cooperatives and their community of service working together,” said Matheson.
This award holds special significance for MEC as the cooperative celebrates its 75th anniversary this year.
MEC was nominated by Grand Canyon State Electric Cooperative Association (GCSECA) CEO Dave Lock, in recognition of MEC’s fiber-optic network, a first-of-its-kind endeavor in Arizona to enhance electric system operations to all 42,000 member endpoints and provide the opportunity to subscribe to fiber broadband through MEC’s partner, TWN Communications.
“GCSECA was proud to nominate MEC’s innovative project and is thrilled the NRECA Board agreed it deserved this national recognition. As a trusted and respected community partner, MEC is a natural fit to spearhead this fiber-optic effort to enrich the lives of their members,” said Lock.
The award application received widespread support including US Senator Krysten Sinema, US Senator Mark Kelly, US Congressman Paul Gosar, US Congresswoman Debbie Lesko, Governor Doug Ducey, AZ Senator Sonny Borrelli, AZ Representative Regina Cobb, AZ Representative Leo Biasiucci, and AZ Corporation Commission Chairwoman Lea Marquez Peterson.
MEC CEO Tyler Carlson said, “I can’t be prouder of our cooperative utility that was created by the people themselves when they needed power. There isn’t a better mission than to continue serving the needs of our members with critical, reliable internet service in our rural communities. Here at 75 years, we are starting over, making it happen when other providers would not. It may not be electrical, but broadband is the future of this community.”
Construction on MEC’s fiber-optic project began in December 2020, and the first fiber broadband member connection was made in June 2021. The project will be built in phases over five years.
MEC and TWN commemorated the first fiber broadband connection with a press conference held July 15, 2021 in Bullhead City, AZ. State and local elected officials, along with community members, came together to help celebrate this historic milestone for the $110 million project.
Founded in 1946, Mohave Electric Cooperative is a not-for-profit utility providing reliable, cost-effective power to 36,000 members, 42,500 meters, with more than 1,555 miles of line spanning areas from Bullhead City to Topock on the west, Hualapai to Burro Creek to the south, and Nelson to the east. MEC is an equal opportunity provider and employer.