NRECA International was established in November 1962 when the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) and the newly-established U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) signed an inaugural cooperative agreement in the White House Oval Office in a ceremony witnessed by President John F. Kennedy. This began NRECA’s overseas involvement to share lessons learned in the electrification of the rural United States with developing countries around the world.
Serving as a non-profit corporation, NRECA International is committed to improve the quality of life for rural communities in developing economies by providing access to reliable and affordable electricity. For more than 50 years, 160 million people in 45 countries have benefitted from our work, and many lives in rural communities have improved in the form of agricultural productivity, improved healthcare, new jobs in micro and small enterprises, and higher incomes and quality of life.
NRECA International has pioneered safe and affordable rural electric service in countries by designing and building distributed power generation-distribution systems, designing and installing renewable energy systems and creating community owned and operated sustainable utilities. Our team of rural electrification experts has a wealth of experience in the planning and operation of various power generation technologies, including renewable resources. To ensure long-term success, the NRECA International team also provides comprehensive training programs to local institutions in all aspects of utility operations and management.
We have developed and implemented rural electrification programs with generous funding support from USAID, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Millennium Challenge Corporation; with multilateral development banks including the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank and various bilateral donors.
NRECA International is also supported by more than 300 electric cooperatives in the United States, and many private organizations contributing time, money and materials to dozens of NRECA International projects. Hundreds of co-op directors, linemen, engineers, managers and other employees have served as volunteers in Latin America, Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa to bring first-time access to electricity, and train local partners to help utilities be sustainable in their own communities.