For more than 100 years, Appalachian State University’s New River Light and Power (NRLP) — a nonprofit electric utility operated by the Division of Business Affairs — has provided power to Western North Carolina residents. Today, NRLP serves nearly 8,500 residential and commercial customers who reside in and near the town of Boone. In January 2022, the utility will begin purchasing its electricity from Carolina Power Partners — a partnership that opens greater renewable energy opportunities. In partnership with Appalachian’s Office of Sustainability, Facilities Operations and Renewable Energy Initiative, NRLP has assisted with various energy efficiency projects across campus, including installing solar panels and providing funding for the Broyhill Wind Turbine located on Bodenheimer Drive. The utility holds the American Public Power Association’s highest Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3) designation for providing reliable and safe electric service, and approximately $650,000 of its budget is reserved annually for contributions to Appalachian’s general scholarship fund.
The mission of New River Light and Power Company is to provide electrical service in the most efficient and reliable manner to Appalachian State University, the Town of Boone and the surrounding community within the franchised areas assigned by statute and agreement between New River Light & Power and Blue Ridge Electric Membership Cooperative.
A secondary mission is to provide for the university's needs through financial support. In fulfilling its missions, New River Light and Power serves as a positive link between Appalachian State University, the Town of Boone and the surrounding community in economic development and public relations.