Kathy Thatcher Elected AEPCO Board President

Business continuity, holding down costs while serving communities are priorities

For Immediate Release

July 8, 2020


Geoff Oldfather, (520) 586-5465, C: (520) 444-3473, goldfather@azgt.coop

J.D. Wallace, (520) 586-5157, C: (520) 235-4203, jdwallace@azgt.coop


BENSON – Kathy Thatcher has been elected to the position of president of the board of directors for Arizona Electric Power Cooperative, Inc.

Thatcher has served on the AEPCO board for 12 years, and is also a director on the board for Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative, where she has serve at various times as board secretary, vice-president, and president of the board. She is currently a SSVEC director and has served on that board a total of 21 years. She was elected at the AEPCO board meeting in Benson on July 8.

Thatcher said the board and both AEPCO and SSVEC face unique challenges – but the priorities remain the same as they’ve always been.

“We will always work to provide reliable, cost-effective and safe electric power for the Members we serve,” Thatcher said.

“There are a lot of issues and challenges facing us right now; business continuity and reliability in the midst of a global pandemic are especially important.

“Also, government regulations keep changing, and as we get something done, they change again, and we end up having to regroup and even re-do something to meet some new regulation,” Thatcher said.

“We have so many layers of government overseeing and regulating everything we do, so that’s one of the most challenging and, frankly, expensive challenges that we’ve always faced, and we have to anticipate and work within these regulations as efficiently as possible,” Thatcher said.

“Holding down fixed costs and watching things like fuel prices and taking every measure we can to minimize the impact on the people we serve has been and will continue to be our priority,” Thatcher said

Thatcher said the reason the cooperatives are able to serve their communities “is because of our wonderful employees.”

“Our cooperatives have very dedicated and reliable employees who go to work every day, in all kinds of weather, in the face of this pandemic, so that we have electricity,” Thatcher said.


Arizona Electric Power Cooperative (AEPCO), www.azgt.coop, is one of 62 generation and transmission (G&T) electric cooperatives in the nation. AEPCO owns and operates the Apache Generating Station (Apache) near Cochise, Arizona, east of Benson. Apache provides power to more than 161,000 electric meters and 420,000 people in Arizona, California and New Mexico through six Class A Member distribution cooperatives. The plant has a combined gross generating capacity of 605 megawatts. AEPCO also operates and maintains more than 841 miles of electric power transmission line including line owner in part with other utilities, and 33 substations in a network that reaches out from Apache and across Arizona to the northwestern corner of the state. The system includes more than 30 telecommunications towers used for phone and data relay services by AEPCO’s Member cooperatives and customers. From this network, our Member distribution electric cooperatives take the power and distribute it to their member-consumers at the end of the line.

About Sierra

Sierra Southwest Cooperative Services (Sierra), the other cooperative under the AzGT banner, serves the renewable-energy needs of AzGT Member cooperatives and customers by providing a mechanism for maximizing solar and other renewable tax credits through cooperative lenders.


Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative, www.ssvec.org is a not for profit, member-owned distribution cooperative providing electricity to more than 51,000 services over some 4,100 miles of energized line. Located in southeastern Arizona, the cooperative’s service territory covers parts of Cochise, Graham, Pima and Santa Cruz Counties and includes the communities of Sierra Vista, Huachuca City, Patagonia, Elfrida, Benson, St. David, Bowie, San Simon, Willcox, Sonoita and Pearce-Sunsites. As with any cooperative, member-driven entity, SSVEC is dedicated to community growth, quality of life, and a positive vision for the future.