Electric Utility Companies Join Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster

Research Triangle Region, N.C. - ElectriCities of North Carolina Inc. (ElectriCities) and North Carolina Electric Membership Corp. (NCEMC) have joined the Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster.

With Duke Energy, a founding RTCC board member, all three electric utility companies that serve the Research Triangle Region now belong to the cluster network.

“ElectriCities and NCEMC have been at the forefront of helping their members modernize and integrate clean technologies into their electric power generation and distribution systems for decades, and both are key partners in promoting economic growth in the communities their members serve,” said Lee Anne Nance, RTCC managing director and executive vice president of the Research Triangle Regional Partnership, which created and manages the RTCC. “The work of our cluster will benefit greatly from the knowledge, perspective and expertise they bring from serving and connecting the many players involved in meeting the energy needs of customers and communities.”

ElectriCities is the trade association of city-owned-and-operated electric power companies, and it provides management services for North Carolina’s two municipal power agencies. NCEMC generates and transmits energy for member electric cooperatives. The two utilities and Duke Energy provide electric power to all of the Research Triangle Region counties and most of North Carolina, as well as other states.

Membership in the RTCC will help both companies stay at the leading edge of grid modernization technologies and closely connected to the organizations that are developing them, executives from the two companies said. That access will allow them to test and deploy innovations and shape their development, which will benefit both the industry and their customers.

“Our job is to deliver value to our members,” said Roy Jones, ElectriCities’ chief operating officer. “One of the best ways we do that is by vetting and recommending new technologies, such as smart grid. Collaborating and networking with cluster companies who are at the forefront of smart grid innovation will help us deliver that value. It’s a great fit.”

Cluster network membership also helps the utilities promote economic growth in areas that remain economically distressed, said Michael Burnette, NCEMC’s senior vice president for power supply and chief operating officer.

“We’re eager to connect with companies that can locate operations and create jobs in the communities we serve,” Burnette said. “And we’re excited about the RTCC’s interest in developing the workforce for this sector. We continue to encourage students to become interested in our business, whether that’s transportation, water/sewer, electric power or telecommunications. We need to tell our story, tell them why these are good industries with growth potential for the future.”

ElectriCities and NCEMC joined RTCC at the $15,000 large industry level.

RTCC’s fall membership recruiting campaign continues. Anyone working in the cleantech economy can participate in the cluster network at no cost. Paying members receive greater access to global market leaders and opportunities to leverage the RTCC collaboration to expand their business. They also help RTCC develop solutions to industry challenges, such as talent recruitment, workforce development and policies that impact business growth. For more information, visit www.researchtrianglecleantech.org.

About ElectriCities of North Carolina Inc.

ElectriCities of North Carolina Inc. is the membership organization of more than 70 public power communities (those served by municipally owned-and-operated power companies), which serve more than one million residential, commercial and industrial customers in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. ElectriCities provides customer service and safety training, emergency and technical assistance, and communications and government relations services to public power communities. It also provides management services to the state's two municipal power agencies: North Carolina Municipal Power Agency Number 1, which serves 19 member cities in western North Carolina, and North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency, which serves 32 member cities in eastern North Carolina. For more information, visit www.electricities.com.

About North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation

North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation (NCEMC) is a generation and transmission cooperative. It supplies all or part of the energy needs to 25 electric cooperatives in North Carolina that provide electricity to nearly one million members. NCEMC has been involved in the development of several renewable energy projects in North Carolina, as well as significant energy efficiency initiatives. For more information, visit www.ncemcs.com.

About Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster

The Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster (RTCC) is an initiative of business, government, academic and nonprofit leaders working to accelerate the region’s cleantech economy through collaboration and partnerships that promote innovation and sector growth. The Research Triangle Regional Partnership (RTRP) formed and manages the RTCC with funding from industry board members ABB Inc., Cisco Systems, Duke Energy, Field2Base Inc., Power Analytics Corp., PowerSecure International, RTI International, SAS, Schneider Electric, Sensus and Siemens and its members. RTRP is the public-private partnership that leads economic development strategy for the area within a 60-mile radius of the Raleigh-Durham International Airport and Research Triangle Park in North Carolina. 

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