The National Renewables Cooperative Organization on Sept. 16 named Mike Keyser as its new chief executive officer, effective Jan. 1, 2022. Keyser has served as CEO of BARC Electric Cooperative and BARC Connects since 2010.

Mike Keyser

During Keyser’s tenure with BARC, the cooperative has expanded opportunities to its members, including fiber-optic broadband service and new renewable energy options through solar. Through Keyser’s vision and leadership, BARC constructed the first community solar garden in the state and launched its SolarizeBARC program in 2019. In addition to community solar, the program offers affordable onsite solar solutions and will add new offerings in 2021 as part of the cooperative’s mission towards sustainability.

“It is with bittersweet feelings that I announce today that I will be leaving BARC after 11 years. Since joining BARC, I have dedicated my life to this organization and am extremely proud of all that we have accomplished as a team. We have unbelievably dedicated employees who believe in our mission and a supportive board of directors that enables us to be a leader in both the commonwealth and the country,” said Keyser.

BARC’s Board of Directors will begin the process to identify a new CEO for the cooperative. BARC wants to reassure all consumers that the co-op will continue moving forward with innovative solar opportunities and expansion of the broadband project. BARC’s mission remains to improve the quality of life in the community it serves and will continue to focus efforts on active projects and look to the future as the co-op continues to innovate. “There is zero doubt in my mind that this co-op is going to continue to do great things,” said Keyser. “Innovation is a part of BARC’s DNA.”

“We appreciate Mike’s contributions and leadership to BARC Electric Cooperative and its members. Through his leadership, BARC has been able to provide new opportunities and services here in rural Virginia that are often only available in metropolitan areas,” said BARC Board President Keith Swisher.

The National Renewables Cooperative Organization is based in Carmel, Ind., It works with electric cooperatives around the country to identify, contract and develop cost-effective renewable energy solutions. Since 2008, its services have resulted in over 1,000 megawatts of utility-scale and community renewable projects installed for cooperatives in more than 20 states.

—Report by Tish Blackwell, Director, Communications and Public Relations, BARC Electric Cooperative