Welcome New Member – Cathedral Ledge Distillery!

Welcome New Member – Cathedral Ledge Distillery!

With modern energy efficiency built into its classic timber frame construction, the new Cathedral Ledge Distillery will soon be lifting spirits in North Conway!

The organic “grain to glass” distillery has worked closely with NHEC to identify and pursue energy efficiency opportunities, as well as the incentives that have made them more affordable to install.

“They’ve been a good sounding board,” said Cathedral Ledge owner Christopher Burk of his experience working with NHEC Commercial Accounts administrators Chelsea Smith and Joe Lajewski. “There are a lot of options when you’re building new, it requires some pre-planning and that’s where NHEC helped tie it together.”

Burk said NHEC’s technical assistance early in the building design process was important. Working with building engineers Resilient Buildings Group of Concord, NH, NHEC provided analysis of various energy efficiency measures from the building shell to the distilling process.

“This technical assistance early in the process was critical and it’s what we really want members to know,” said NHEC’s Joe Lajewski. “We can be most effective in helping members early in the building process. Changes to key energy systems are difficult to make once construction documents are finalized.”

Distilling is an energy-intensive process, Burk explained, requiring lots of thermal energy followed by rapid cooling. To maximize the building’s efficiency, energy recovery tanks were installed underground, capturing hot water from the distilling process and circulating it through the radiant floor heating in the winter. In the building’s retail area and tasting room, highly-efficient heat pumps supplement the radiant floor heat in winter while providing cooling and dehumidification in summer.

Other energy efficiency features of Cathedral Ledge Distillery include:

  • 10-inch poly insulation beneath timber frame exterior (beyond code)
  • High-efficiency propane boiler
  • All LED lighting
  • Dark Sky-compliant outdoor lighting w/photo-sensitive dimmers

The business, located at 3340 White Mountain Highway in North Conway, also features two Level 2 Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations on-site for customer use.


Burk says he’s aiming to open to the public before the end of the year. Pallets of organic grain and empty glass bottles are awaiting the distillery’s first run of vodka and gin.

“We’re so close I can taste it,” he said.



Call the NHEC Commercial Accounts team BEFORE you build! 

Chelsea Smith
Commercial Accounts Administrator
603.536.8855; smithc@nhec.com

  • Energy needs and rate analysis
  • Guidance on available NHEC incentives
  • SmartHub Energy Management


Joe Lajewski, C.E.M.
Energy Solutions Program Administrator
603.536.8663; lajewskij@nhec.com


  • Identify energy efficiency opportunities and technologies
  • Guidance on NHEC program incentives to defray costs
  • Assistance with incentive applications

NHEC Hires Robert Cruickshank to Head Broadband Effort

PLYMOUTH, NH (November 19, 2020) – New Hampshire Electric Cooperative (NHEC) Board Chair Tom Mongeon is pleased to announce the hiring of Robert Cruickshank to lead NHEC’s efforts to ensure its members have access to world-class high-speed Internet service.

Cruickshank brings a wide range of broadband experience to NHEC, having worked as a senior executive for several telecommunications companies, including Vice President of Broadband Internet Access at CableLabs, where he led the team that created and certified the DOCSIS® world standard cable modem. He also served as Vice President of Engineering and interim Chief Technology Officer of Road Runner High Speed Online, where he was responsible for the design of broadband networks and data centers across the United States that tripled Road Runner’s business annually.

Cruickshank was also an Operations Architect and Senior Vice President of Customer Data, Information and Solutions at Cablevision Systems in Long Island, New York. In addition, Cruickshank has numerous patents in transactive energy management, telecommunications network management, and customer experience management. Most recently, he worked at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado. Cruickshank received his Ph.D. in Architectural Engineering from the University of Colorado and Master and Bachelor of Science Degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

“We are excited to have Robert join the NHEC team to lead our broadband efforts,” said Mongeon. “His experience and knowledge will be invaluable as NHEC accelerates forward to achieve our goal of ensuring all members and communities have access to the high-speed Internet service they need.”

“Just as important as food, water, and energy for many of our members, broadband is essential for communications and transforms how we live, educate, work, and play,” said Cruickshank. “I’m honored to lead the NHEC broadband team in advancing community livelihoods, resiliency, and sustainability.”

NHEC is embarking on a rapid fiber optic network build-out across nearly 40,000 utility poles and is working around the clock to ensure all its members will have access to affordable, reliable high-speed Internet as soon as possible in the years ahead. The Co-op was awarded a grant from the Connecting New Hampshire Emergency Broadband Fund to construct state-of-the-art fiber networks in Lempster, Colebrook, Stewartstown, and Clarksville, to provide the best Internet access available anywhere to over 900 currently unserved members. With hundreds of miles of newly installed fiber, these initial projects will be completed during the holidays and represent NHEC’s first steps towards its broader goal of ubiquitous broadband availability. In September, NHEC members voted overwhelmingly to amend the Co-op’s bylaws to give the organization’s Board of Directors greater flexibility to pursue grant opportunities and forge strategic partnerships. For more information and all the latest on NHEC broadband, please visit www.NHEC.com/broadband.

About New Hampshire Electric Cooperative

NHEC is a member-owned electric distribution cooperative serving 85,000 homes and businesses in 115 New Hampshire communities.

Pilot Project Aims to Reduce Outage Times

Pilot Project Aims to Reduce Outage Times

An electrical device on power lines and poles.

Using technology like this Viper recloser, NHEC is reducing the time it takes to restore power.

With the application of advanced engineering and communication technologies in the field, NHEC is reducing the time it takes to restore power outages.

Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition, or SCADA, is making it possible for an employee in our Plymouth Control Center to safely do in a few minutes what would normally take a lineworker an hour or more to do in the field.

NHEC has long had the ability to remotely monitor and control the flow of power within its 45 substations, but a pilot project underway this year is providing that same control on smaller circuits outside the substations, where the majority of outages occur.

In practical terms, that means the NHEC Control Center, working with field crews on the scene, will be able to refeed entire circuits that have lost power with a few mouse clicks. The manual process of refeeding circuits can be a time-consuming task for a line crew. But by utilizing  SCADA to support lineworkers on the ground, outage times can be reduced significantly.

A key part of NHEC’s SCADA project is an investment in a variety of ‘recloser’ technologies. Like a circuit breaker on household electric lines, reclosers shut off electric power when trouble occurs, such as a short circuit. Reclosers also allow power to flow if the interruption is temporary, like a branch that brushes a line when it falls. NHEC is installing a variety of recloser technologies in the field that will respond to automated processes activated by employees from our Control Center. The result – shorter outage times and increased reliability for members.

Candidates Wanted for Board of Directors & Nominating Committee

NHEC is governed by a Board of Directors, which is elected by our members. Each year, a Nominating Committee recommends candidates to run for the Board of Directors. NHEC is seeking members interested in serving on both panels – the Board of Directors and the Nominating Committee.

Board of Directors

In 2021, four seats on the 11-member Board of Directors will be up for election to three-year terms. Voting will take place by mail or electronic ballot in May 2021, with new Board members taking their seats at the June annual meeting of members.  NHEC seeks broad representation from a diverse group of individuals and encourages all qualified members to consider running.  You must be a Co-op member in order to run for a position on the Board.  For more information about how to get your name on next year’s ballot, contact Sharon Yeaton at 603-536-8801, or yeatons@nhec.com.

Nominating Committee

The Nominating Committee reviews the qualifications of potential candidates seeking election to the Board of Directors and nominates a slate of candidates to run for the four open seats.  Any Co-op member interested in being part of the candidate selection process for the NHEC Board of Directors is encouraged to apply for a position on the Nominating Committee.  For more information about time requirements and applying to be considered for the Nominating Committee, contact Sharon Yeaton at 603-536-8801, or yeatons@nhec.com.

NHEC Closed November 11 for Veterans Day

NHEC and the NHEC Member Solutions Call Center will be closed in observance of Veterans Day on Wednesday, November 11, 2020. Members can still make automated payments on SmartHub or by calling 800.698.2007. The NHEC Control Center is staffed 24/7. To report an outage, please call 800.343.6432.