BARC Electric Cooperative Receives Award

In a press release dated May 15th, it was announced that the Utilities Technology Council, a global trade association, had presented BARC Electric Cooperative with its top honor, the Apex Award, given annually to a utility that has launched innovative projects that resulted in demonstrated benefits and a positive impact on the community.

The award was presented to BARC CEO Michael Keyser by UTC President Joy Ditto in Palm Springs, California at UTC’s annual conference. It is the most prestigious honor a utility can receive from UTC. In accepting the award, Mr. Keyser said, “Our entire staff have been tremendously dedicated to the mission of improving the quality of life in the community we serve. I’m proud to accept this award on behalf of everyone at BARC. Through our solar and broadband projects, we are really making a positive impact in people’s lives. It’s an honor to be recognized by UTC for our efforts. UTC played an instrumental role in the development of our broadband project. I owe several people at UTC a debt of gratitude for helping us get our project from concept to reality. They have been a very supportive group for rural broadband.”

BARC Electric Cooperative is a customer-owned electric cooperative serving 13,000 residents, farms and businesses across five counties in Virginia. BARC constructed the first community solar garden in the Commonwealth and provides high-speed Internet, telephone and television service through BARC Connects, its wholly-owned fiber-to-the-home subsidiary. To learn more, visit

The Utilities Technology Council is a global trade association

dedicated to serving critical infrastructure providers.For more information, visit

BARC Electric Cooperative is a supporter of Allegheny Mountain Radio.

Story By

Scott Smith

Scott Smith is the General Manager for Allegheny Mountain Radio and Station Coordinator and News Reporter for WVLS. Scott’s family has deep roots in Highland County. While he did not grow up here, he spent as much time as possible on the family farm, and eventually moved to Highland to continue the tradition, which he still pursues with his cousin. Unfortunately, farming doesn’t pay all the bills, so he has previously taken other jobs to support his farming hobby, including pressman/writer for The Recorder, and Ag Projects Coordinator for The Highland Center. He lives in Hightown with wife Michelle and son Ethan. In his spare time, he wishes he had more spare time, especially to ride his prized Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

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