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CIDER to warm Tipmont’s energy transformation efforts

For an organization like Tipmont that’s forever forecasting the future, you might presume the arrival of a new year isn’t a big deal. How exciting could 2024 be if we’ve been actively planning for it since 2020?

As it happens, it’s incredibly exciting. That’s because Tipmont’s tradition of forward-thinking innovation over the last few years has garnered nationwide notice. This approach helped us find success with fiber-optic grant opportunities. Now, it’s doing the same for our electric service — giving Tipmont an outstanding opportunity that will prepare our members for evolutions in energy delivery.

In late 2023, Tipmont became one of only five cooperatives across the country to receive federal grant funding from the Community-Integrated Distributed Energy Resilience (CIDER) program. Facilitated by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), the program will provide Tipmont with $300,000 to develop and deploy a leading-edge distributed energy resource management system (DERMS).

Over the next three years, this DERMS will study how Tipmont can harness distributed energy resources (e.g., rooftop solar arrays, battery storage, and electric vehicles) to accelerate outage restoration efforts and enhance system performance. The program also aims to expand our members’ financially viable adoption of such resources.

What do all these acronyms spell for Tipmont’s future? By creating collaboration with expert vendors and partners, they help Tipmont address long-term goals for energy transformation — reduced demand, increased resiliency and reliability, and more efficient operation. Moreover, CIDER gives Tipmont a platform, assistance, and expertise to experience a new system at minimal cost. Learning to drive in a Lamborghini can be intimidating. Thanks to CIDER, we get the benefits of a Lamborghini without the risk.

Ultimately, we expect to offer a mobile app and website through which Tipmont members can register their applicable distributed energy resources to provide secure and anonymized data. Members also will be able to learn more about consumption and home energy optimization. We are also considering incentives for members to participate, possible member-rebate programs to purchase distributed energy resources, and more. Keep an eye out for further communication as we finalize program details.

Tipmont will always be proactive and prepared for energy transformations as they arrive. I’m proud of our in-house experts in metering infrastructure, fiber-optic networking and data analytics, who have put us in the best possible position to receive this grant. Most of all, I’m grateful for members like you who trust that our ambition and aptitude will help you enjoy what’s to come in 2024, 2025, 2026, and beyond.

Ron Holcomb

Ron Holcomb

Ron is a 30-year veteran of the electric utility industry with extensive experience in power supply, advanced grid technologies, essential service operations, economic development and value-driven growth initiatives for combined electric and telecommunication utilities. During his career, he has led three utilities as President/CEO and provided management consulting to utilities across the country. Ron joined Tipmont as CEO in summer 2013. He holds a B.S. in Physics from Austin Peay State University and an MBA from Murray State University.

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