Harvey Yoder

Director North Parkland Power REA

Harvey is a creative energy thinker who has a long history with co-ops.

He has a B.Sc. in agriculture education from the Penn State University. For more than 30 years, he was a district agriculturist and forage specialist with Alberta Agriculture.

He’s director of North Parkland Power, Northern Lights Energy and Power Ltd. and Lac La Biche Natural Gas Co-op —all energy co-ops. After retiring from government in 2002, he served for many years as director of the Gas Alberta Inc., which supplies gas to Alberta co-ops, as well as to ACE.

A few years ago, Harvey and some friends started talking about new energy.

“Instead of leaving it to the big companies,” he says, “we thought there was an opportunity to do it ourselves.”

 

They formed a renewable energy co-op, SPARK, and invited Albertans to become involved in green energy. It would sell wind, solar and biofuel to Albertans and fund micro-generators with the profits.

Next, they formed Alberta Co-operative Energy or ACE.

Five co-ops—North Parkland Power REA, Lakeland REA, Northern Lights Energy and Power Ltd. Gas Alberta Energy and SPARK—created this new entity. It would sell SPARK’s green energy, as well as electricity and natural gas from the huge energy co-op system in Alberta.

“The big thing about co-ops,” says Harvey, “is members can become directors. They get profits back, but they can also get involved.”

And when members get involved, innovation can take place.

ACE is a perfect example.

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ACE is a community-run energy retailer with an Alberta call centre. ACE’s innovative programs reward its co-op members and Alberta’s green-energy producers, while lowering your energy costs.