If there’s one thing the whole team at Perceptive Power Infrastructure shares, it’s that we all come from and care about small towns and rural America. We’ve seen the challenges that rural electric cooperatives face and want to address them.

Meet Gary – a trusted partner and Head of Origination at Perceptive Power Infrastructure.

Over the course of this two-blog series, we’ll learn more about his time as a co-op CEO and how this led him into consultancy. We’ll also explore how Gary vetted potential suppliers during his time managing an REC in New Mexico and Texas, and how he brings this perspective to serving RECs today.

Gary Hurse - Head of Origination

If anyone understands RECs, it’s Gary

For 13 years, Gary was the CEO of Lea County Electric Cooperative (LCEC), which serves members in New Mexico and Texas. Prior to that, he held various technical roles across the industry – at G&Ts, co-ops, and the Statewide in Texas.

Under Gary’s leadership and guidance as CEO, the team at LCEC developed and managed the construction of a 46 MW reciprocating engine natural gas plant interfaced with a 28.7 MW wind farm. These were interconnected in the SPP integrated energy market.

Gary led negotiations on Purchase Power Agreements for one solar plant and three wind farms in the Lea County service area while also negotiating a power supply contract that will allow LCEC to withdraw completely from the XCEL system by 2026.

Due to these efforts and more, LCEC has exceeded the mandated renewable energy requirements for the State of New Mexico.

Making an educated choice

Prior to his time and achievements at LCEC, Gary had already had a full career. So, it probably wasn’t a surprise to anyone when he retired from his role as CEO in late 2017 – but he didn’t stay retired for long and entered the world of consultancy. When we sat down with him, one of the most important things we wanted to know was why he chose to partner with us at Perceptive Power Infrastructure.

In 2018 I started my own company. At that point, it wasn’t hard to find somebody to work with. It was hard to find somebody that I was comfortable with. It was important to me to make sure I didn’t get involved with someone who wouldn’t be upfront with the co-ops. [Perceptive Power Infrastructure and True Green Capital] were open to approaching the co-ops in a way that was not a pressure situation. I was comfortable with that. There’s a ton of people out there doing what we’re doing, but we really shine because we know what we’re doing.

It’s one thing to say we know what we’re doing and it’s another to actually prove it.

Throughout his time at LCEC, he had always remained cautious when dealing with prospective suppliers to separate those who had the necessary resources and know-how from those who didn’t.

Step One: Does it fit the power supply portfolio?

“Once you tell them what you can provide, most CEOs will know how it’ll fit in their power supply portfolio. In the beginning, we didn’t belong to a G&T at LCEC. We were doing it all ourselves, so I knew on our grid where a project they were offering would fit. Towards the end of my time there, LCEC did join a G&T to lean on the expertise they could tap into.” said Gary.

As a company, it was important to us to know more about Gary’s process for vetting new suppliers. What steps did he take and what questions did he ask along the way? Most importantly, his perspective has been invaluable in structuring the transparent, truly valuable conversations with RECs that are the cornerstone of The Perceptive Way.

Suppliers willing to have those open conversations about their expertise and capabilities were the only suppliers Gary was willing to personally talk to during his time as CEO at LCEC.

How PPI fits in the grid

Perceptive Power Infrastructure provides distributed generation solutions specifically for RECs through a collaborative approach to meet our clients where they are.

We don’t assume we know what’s best for your community.

Understanding your existing portfolio and what you want to achieve is our first priority, before designing a project specifically with your needs and budget in mind.

Our focus spans distributed generation solutions: photovoltaic solar, energy storage, and natural gas-powered reciprocating engines. The right solutions will vary depending on the size of every co-op we work with and the community it serves.

Coming Soon – Step Two: Gary’s Big Three Questions

If Gary felt that the proposed solution could benefit his co-op, he’d take the time to talk with a potential supplier. In the next blog, we’ll learn how Gary would begin the conversation and what his three essential questions were.

If there is something you’d like to know about our team and have an open conversation about your RECs energy needs, get in touch today.

Meet the Team is a series of blogs in which we introduce the great people who make up Perceptive Power Infrastructure. Each blog explores the expertise they bring to our team and how they’re working to make the industry better for rural electric cooperatives.

The Team Founded In Rural Roots​