NRECA Leadership Honors Electric Cooperatives in Costa Rica
The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) leadership recently honored two rural electric co-ops in Costa Rica. NRECA CEO Jo Ann Emerson and NRECA President Mel Coleman joined Coopelesca (Cooperativa de Electrificacion Rural de San Carlos) and Coopeguanacaste (Cooperativa de Electrificacion Rural de Guanacaste) to celebrate their respective 50th anniversaries over the weekend.
“On behalf of America’s electric cooperatives, I congratulate our international partners at Coopelesca and Coopeguanacaste in Costa Rica on their 50th anniversaries.” said NRECA CEO Jo Ann Emerson. “Our mission is not restricted by national boundaries; the success of electric cooperatives in other countries is just as important as the success of electric cooperatives here in America.”
In 1965, NRECA International helped form these two electric cooperatives with funding provided by the U.S. Agency for International Development. Coopelesca, headquartered in Quesada, San Carlos, serves the north central region of Costa Rica. Coopeguanaste, headquartered in Santa Cruz, serves the northwestern coastal Guanacaste region of the country. Both have been critical engines for economic growth to their communities. Collectively, they serve more than 145,000 member-owners and own more than 50 megawatts of hydroelectric and wind energy generation resources.
“We want to give people, especially people in rural areas, the opportunity that comes with electrification—safer communities, economic growth and a better quality of life,” said NRECA President Mel Coleman. “All over the world, this mission is making a difference to people of every economic condition, every age and many nationalities, and I am very proud to be a part of this celebration.”
Coopelesca and Coopeguanaste have been technology leaders in Central America. Most recently both co-ops joined the Smart Grid Alliance for the Americas and shared experiences of smart grid applications with the U.S. rural electric cooperative community and Latin American partner utilities. This innovative partnership is managed by NRECA, and funded by the U.S. State Department Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs under the Energy and Climate Change Partnership of the Americas.
NRECA is the national service organization that represents the nation’s more than 900 private, not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric cooperatives, which provide service to 42 million people in 47 states. NRECA’s international program —NRECA International – has been working in developing countries since 1962. Its global commitment has helped provide electricity to more than 110 million people in 42 countries.