BARC Board President Keith Swisher reported on the challenges and highlights for the cooperative in 2022. Swisher reported the cooperative submitted its first general rate case application in over 20 years. The rate change will be implemented over two years, having begun on Jan. 1, 2023. Two solar projects, a 5-megawatt array near Millboro and a 2.5-MW array in Rockbridge Baths, were completed. The renovation of BARC’s Lexington office, the old Highland Belle Middle School, was completed.

Swisher also reported BARC’s subsidiary, BARC Connects, continues to expand its fiber-optic broadband infrastructure. 1,279 sheath miles of fiber optic cable have been installed serving 4,500 customers and passing almost 11,000 locations.

Secretary/Treasurer John Quantz reported, “Despite the challenges of 2022, I am happy to report that we did end the year with positive margins. Membership patronage capital increased by just over $1 million. These margins help ensure that the cooperative can cover unplanned expenses such as those related to major storms, while also maintaining the capital necessary for system upgrades to meet member demand.”

Bill Buchanan, president and CEO, addressed the board, staff and membership on BARC’s commitment to safety. “One of the most important things that stays constant at BARC is its culture of safety as our top priority. The culture and commitment to safety starts at the top, and I assure you that your board and management continually strive to provide the best when it comes to a safe working environment for our employees. I am pleased to report that at the end of June, we have 1,464 days without a lost-time accident. Congratulations to Team BARC!”

Special guests in attendance were Old Dominion Electric Cooperative CFO Bryan Rogers, Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives Board Chair Wade House and President and CEO Brian Mosier. Former BARC General Manager Hugh Landes was also in attendance.

The following board members were reelected to three-year terms: Keith L. Swisher of District 3 and Albert J. “Jay” Lewis, II of District 4. More than 1,000 members voted by returning their proxy designation cards and were entered into a drawing to win $150 bill credits.

Report by Amanda Cunningham, Marketing and Communications Coordinator, BARC Electric Cooperative.