NRECA Annual Meeting
Pat O’Loughlin is CEO of Buckeye Electric Power Cooperative (Ohio).
PUF's Steve Mitnick: What is interesting about the co-operative model, especially since you've been at an investor owned utility?
Pat O'Loughlin: I've done both. I love the industry, and it's super interesting. It's important, and there are a lot of interesting people who work here. We're going to talk a little bit about distributed energy resources, and we're going to talk about markets.
Our perspective on it is helpful because, being consumer-owned, we have the owner and investor together as one. We don't have to separate and say, this one's better for the consumers, but not so great for the investors, or vice-versa.
That creates dilemmas in decision making, and in investments in technology particularly. We don't have this disconnect. If it's good for consumers, it's good enough for investors. They're the same.
We've seen co-ops adopt technologies that help with reliability. We've stayed in this cost-of-service model, which a lot of industrial utilities have been broken out of by the regulators, largely because of that disconnect between the investor interest and the consumer interest.