We are already five months into 2018…

and it’s clear that this is going to be a very busy year both for the Texas clean energy economy and for TREIA as well. Wind and solar are making huge gains, and we are seeing progress on efficiency and smart grid initiatives across the state. Our members have been busy!

We’ve also been working hard here at TREIA. Building on the success and enthusiasm of GridNEXT 2017, we are hard at work planning for our 2018 signature event. We are also lining up a great roster of trainings and webcasts for our members. Those are the visible ‘deliverables’ everybody sees that help to foster the energy conversation and collaboration, and advance our mission. But what’s going on behind the scenes has me equally excited in my third year as President.

TREIA’s work is a lot like the development of a complex solar or wind project. The world sees the outcome: a massive solar array with its gleaming panels aligned neatly across the landscape or giant wind turbines towering over the plains. Less obvious is the enormous amount of effort that goes on behind the scenes to bring these projects to life, whether it be the energy survey, the extensive permitting work, or the lining up of land leases and tax abatements. Similarly, it is the less visible but equally hard work of our committees and our board members that set the stage for our events and our future success.

To that end, we are well through the development of a new strategic plan, with our Mission, Vision, Values and Goals already approved by the board (you will be hearing more about our new strategic plan shortly). These all help provide a new strategic framework – our North Star in aligning our priorities and focus with the needs and desires of our members.

We’ve also recruited some remarkably talented new board members representing a wide range of backgrounds, experiences and viewpoints. We look to them to add fresh perspectives and insights to the talented team we already enjoy. We have also been successfully recruiting new members who recognize the value that TREIA brings to their organizations and its contribution to the larger Texas energy conversation.

Internally, we have made some changes as well. We recently said goodbye to Communications Director Stacey Abel, who is going on to the Texas Electric Transportation Resources Alliance (TxETRA). We are bringing on Julie Beggs as Marketing Director to help us bring even more members and sponsors into our fold and strengthen our position. Kait Johnston has come on board to assist us with coordinating our annual GridNEXT conference. We are revamping our newsletter and we are strengthening our effort to more powerfully tell the stories of our members with the addition of Peter Kelly-Detwiler as our lead newsletter contributor.

As I look around the United States and the world, I feel enormously proud of what we have accomplished here in Texas. We have been known globally for our petroleum industry for well over a hundred years. At the same time, few people really know that Texas has rapidly emerged as a world leader with its clean energy economy. Part of TREIA’s purpose is to share that message and build even more momentum to support the great work that our members are accomplishing every day.

And of course there is GridNEXT 2018. We will have a great deal more to say about that event shortly, but it’s safe to say that our planning is well underway. The GridNEXT 2017 event was remarkable, so we know the bar is set high for the next one. Thanks to the strength and commitment of our board, our staff and our members, we are well on our way to meeting that bar and setting it even higher. We look forward to having you on the journey with us.

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