John Nelssen became a member of Mohave Electric Cooperative in 1991. He has served as Board Director for District 1 since 1996. At the June 2017 District 1 meeting, members in attendance recommended Nelssen to continue representing them for a three-year term. He previously served as Board Vice President.
Nelssen attained the Credentialed Cooperative Director Certificate, a recognized measurement of competency on key current issues, through course work offered by National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. He has taken advanced course studies to receive the Board Leadership Certificate. Nelssen was awarded the NRECA Gold Director Certificate in 2018. He regularly updates skills through course training and workshops in the electrical utility field.
Former owner of Left Field Meat Company in Wikieup, Nelssen was an electrical test engineer with utilities in Arizona and California, and an owner/engineer of an electrical high voltage testing company.
In April 2011, Nelssen received the Touchstone Energy Power and Hope Recognition Award, a program that recognizes cooperative directors and employees who have gone above and beyond to help co-op members in need.
Nelssen served four years in the U.S. Navy as an electrician’s mate and is a Vietnam Veteran. He is a member of Masonic Lodge No. 29 in Phoenix and has been active in 4-H and Future Farmers of America youth programs.
March 19, 2020 – MEC, on behalf of the Freeman Company, LLC, presented a $500 check to Mark Tierce, site director of the Veterans’ Resource Centers of America in Bullhead City. Freeman provided materials and labor to set up MEC’s Co-op Connections Expo at the Bullhead Area Chamber of Commerce in early March and simply asked for a donation to a charity of choice. From left to right – Tierce, and MEC board members John Nelssen, Michael Bartelt, and Carlos Tejeda.
Mohave Electric was one of Arizona co-ops that were recognized with safety awards during the GCSECA summer conference. The safety award is given to cooperatives that had no lost time incidents for that calendar year.
Mohave Electric Cooperative is providing financial support for an eight-bed veterans’ wing of the Bullhead City Emergency Shelter facility on North Oatman Road.
U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, a member of the Rural Veterans Caucus, visited the building on Monday. Gosar has a long-standing interest in veterans affairs, such as getting them the benefits and care they deserve and earned.
“Mohave Electric supports veterans in many ways throughout our service territory,” said Tyler Carlson, CEO of MEC. “Our board of directors recognizes our community has a critical need to assist homeless veterans with temporary shelter and nutrition and other assistance to help them get back on their feet.”
In 2018, the MEC board established a goal to partner with local charities and organizations, including BHHS Legacy Foundation and Catholic Charities Community Services to provide a facility for veterans who are temporarily without adequate shelter.
Construction began in January 2019 with an expected completion date in 2020.
The MEC board of directors voted to authorize Carlson the ability to grant up to $30,000 annually of Assigned Capital Credits to the veterans wing of the shelter for the purpose of delivering financial assistance for the facility to support homeless veterans located in the MEC service communities of Bullhead City, Fort Mohave, Mohave Valley, Golden Shores, Kingman, Wikieup, Hackberry, and Peach Springs.
MEC also plans to invest in solar resources for the facility.
“This is done to help reduce the annual operating costs for the entire facility,” Carlson said.
The solar energy equipment is provided by MEC’s Solar Initiative for the Community and funded by a billing surcharge for renewable energy programs approved by the Arizona Corporation Commission.
“I want to thank all the partners involved in this effort,” Carlson said. “A community need was identified and is now being addressed. It’s important to give our veterans an opportunity to succeed following their service to this country.
“I’m proud that Mohave Electric is playing a role in this endeavor.”
February 21, 2019 – Every year representatives from Arizona's not-for-profit electric cooperatives from across the state attend the Grand Canyon State Electric Cooperative Association (GCSECA) Legislative Rally at the Arizona State Capitol. The purpose of this meeting is to introduce the legislator to Arizona's electric cooperatives and discuss important policy issues.
Photo from left to right (Arizona's Legislative District 5 Representative Regina Cobb, MEC CEO Tyler Carlson, MEC Board Members Toni Barbaro, Deborah Johnson, John Nelssen, Rich Tempelman, Michael Bartelt, Arizona's Legislative District 5 Representative Leo Biasiucci.) Front from left to right (MEC Board Member Carlos Tejeda, Washington Youth Tour winner Monica Houltram)
January 14, 2019 – The Co-op’s Call Center was remodeled to make it ready for installation of the new Smart Grid monitoring system.
An AARA Grant from the U.S. Department of Energy has substantially reduced Mohave’s investment, making it possible to use new technology to improve service and reliability in the future.
“Our board of directors and management are members of the Co-op too, and we believe in purchasing materials and services locally whenever they’re available and competitive,” said Longtin. “This business philosophy helped put the AARA Grant dollars used for the Call Center improvements back in to our local community."
January 11, 2019 – Board Directors (rear from left to right), Mike Bartelt, John Nelssen and Carlos Tejada present board members Deborah Johnson (front left) and Toni Barbaro with their accredited Credentialed Cooperative Director Certificates. The certificate is a recognized measurement of competency on key current issues attained through course work offered by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.
January 11, 2019 – Board Directors John Nelssen and Carlos Tejada join MEC Board President Lyn Opalka, in presenting board member Michael Bartelt with his accredited Credentialed Cooperative Director Certificate. The certificate is a recognized measurement of competency on key current issues attained through course work offered by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.
January 11, 2019 – “From the Heart with River Fund,” a utility assistance program facilitated by Mohave Electric Cooperative and River Fund received a $5,000 matching grant from CoBank’s “Sharing Success” charitable program for 2013.
The CoBank grant matches $5,000 in donations from Mohave members who voluntarily donate to help members in need by adding $1 to their electric bill each month and also through Operation Round Up. Donations are forwarded to River Fund, a local 501c3 non-profit social service agency that administers the funds to help Mohave families in need with their utility payments.
Mohave Electric applied for the grant on behalf of River Fund. CoBank also funded Mohave’s request to match $5,000 in donations last year.
CoBank Vice President Tamra Reynolds said, “CoBank is pleased to offer this program to our cooperative customers once again and provide support to the rural economies which they serve. It’s just one more way CoBank demonstrates cooperation among cooperatives and fulfills our mission to serve rural America.”
Ardie Lauxman, Mohave CFO, explained, “River Fund partners with the Cooperative through an agreement where they facilitate the utility assistance program without an administration fee making 100% of the donations and grant available for member assistance.”
CoBank, headquartered in Denver, Colorado, is a cooperative bank serving vital industries across rural America.
January 11, 2019 – Fort Mojave Mesa Fire Department’s Station 91 is saving energy dollars, as a result of a 25.5 KW rooftop solar project funded by Mohave Electric Cooperative’s Renewable Energy Program and the Huguenin-Rallapalli Foundation, a private non-profit foundation.
“The solar panels are expected to provide 90-95% of the energy used at the station,” said Darrell Raburn, Fire Chief. “Our main source of income is from property taxes, which has declined about 47% since 2009. The solar project will help greatly with our expenses for electricity and we appreciate the generosity of MEC and Mrs. Rallapalli,” Raburn said.
“For Mohave Electric, as a locally-based utility, helping the community is an important commitment,”said Tyler Carlson, Mohave Electric CEO. “When we submit our renewable energy plan to the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) each year, we look for projects that help lower the operating costs of schools, fire stations, and government buildings, all of which operate primarily from collected taxes. Reducing the operating costs for such essential services benefits our members as taxpayers,” Carlson explained.
This project marks the third solar facility that has been funded by MEC’s program together with donations from Krishna and Philine Rallapalli of Bullhead City, administrators of Huguenin-Rallapalli Foundation. Earlier joint projects were at the Boys and Girls Club in 2010 and Mohave Community College in 2011.
Since 2009 MEC’s Community Renewable Energy Program has provided funding for 24 solar projects with eight additional projects planned, as approved by the ACC. Most of the funding for the projects comes from the Renewable Energy Standard Tariff (REST), a surcharge on members bills that is mandated by the ACC. In 2010 the Co-op also facilitated a federal stimulus grant (ARRA) of $323,000 on behalf of 15 area schools, the City of Bullhead City, and Mohave Community College.
January 11, 2019 –The Mohave County Bullhead Justice Court solar project was partially funded by Mohave Electric Cooperative’s Solar Initiative for the Community. This program is part of MEC’s renewable energy plan which is funded by a surcharge on member bills that is mandated by the Arizona Corporation Commission. MEC’s Solar Initiative for the Community program funds solar projects that reduce costs for facilities operated primarily from collected taxes, which benefits all members as taxpayers.
Thirty-five projects are saving energy dollars at 19 schools, six fire stations, five government buildings, and five nonprofit facilities. Collectively, the Solar Initiative projects were funded through an investment of $2.5 million, with funding of $2 million from MEC’s Renewable Energy Plan, federal stimulus (ARRA) grants of $323,000 and private donations of $79,000.
January 11, 2018 –
From left to right, MEC Board of Directors Toni Barbaro, Joe Anderson, CEO Tyler Carlson, Carlos Tejeda, Michael Bartelt, Cindy Christy, and John Nelssen deliver "Call to Action" letters from MEC members and supporters to State Senator Sonny Borrelli and Representative Regina Cobb on Wednesday, January 24, 2018. The total number of letters generated by the campaign to date is 6,609.
In January 2018 the “Call to Action” effort generated more than 6,600 letters from MEC members in support of Arizona SB1412. The legislation which allows Arizona electric cooperatives to continue to support local community programs through assigned capital credits, was introduced in January of this year and passed the Arizona Senate on February 15, 2018 by a vote of 29-0 and also passed in the House of Representatives on March 20, with a vote of 57-0-3 with no dissenting votes, and was signed by Governor Ducey on March 23, 2018.
Several box loads of letters, addressed to Senator Sonny Borrelli, Representative Regina Cobb, and Representative Paul Mosley were hand-delivered to the State Capitol in Phoenix by MEC CEO Tyler Carlson, MEC Board Directors, and statewide electric cooperative representatives in January.
Carlson expressed his appreciation to MEC members, Senator Borrelli and Representative Cobb.
“MEC members understand the importance of keeping this funding local to help the community, and we thank them for writing the letters and adding their voices to ours.”
“Our thanks also go out to Senator Borrelli and Representative Cobb who listened and supported our members and community. They were with us from the start, and were instrumental in getting this done.”
Carlson explained that assigned capital credits provide funding for many local community programs including The River Fund, and also MEC’s Classroom Grants and Washington DC Youth Tour.
January 11, 2016 –US Senator John McCain spent last Friday in Bullhead City where he met with Mohave Electric Cooperative Board members and employees before addressing a crowd at a Bullhead Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon. Senator McCain spoke with MEC employees and board members about the need for additional transparency and oversight of the Western Area Power Administration, including talking about an amendment he worked on with Senator Flake that would require WAPA to provide more information on their budgeting process to customers.
In addition, McCain discussed the impacts of power plant closures on rural areas, in particular the impact of the closure of the Mohave Generating Station had on the area. He vowed to continue fighting EPA overreach and in particular the Clean Power Plan and the rules on Waters of the United States that would put federal jurisdiction over every dry sand-wash in the area.