In 1935 only about ten percent of the nation’s farms had central station electric service. In May of that year, President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Rural Electrificiation Administration to help bring electric power to our country’s farm population.
Responding to the local demand for electricity, Tri-County Electric Cooperative, Inc. was organized on March 20, 1939 in Azle, Texas. Twenty people attended the first meeting which was held in a two story building on Main Street. At the first meeting, new members wrote bylaws and applied for a charter from the state of Texas, which they received in August of that year.
With charter in hand, Tri-County Electric Cooperative, Inc. began serving customers. The very first section of electric lines built by the Cooperative was a 150 mile stretch that served some 112 families, starting three miles east of Weatherford, Texas and running to Azle, Texas along the Wise County line west of the Springtown area.
World War II slowed the system’s growth, as the only lines that could be built were emergency lines. But the Cooperative made up for lost time in the booming post-war years, and by the early 1960’s has over 5,500 new members in seven counties.
The original headquarters was located on Main Street in Azle, Texas. Around 1964 the Cooperative moved its headquarters to its present location at 600 N.W. Parkway. The Northeast District Office was opened in Keller in 1963 and the Southwest District Office was opened in Granbury in 1974. In 1998 the Cooperative merged with B-K Electric Cooperative and opened another District Office in Seymour, Texas.
Originally created to serve rural areas that were too isolated for major power companies to service, many cooperatives find themselves today serving area with increasingly dense population and a growing number of residential, commercial, and industrial customers. Tri-County Electric Cooperative, Inc. certainly fits into this category.
The Cooperative’s service area includes much of the northern Tarrant County area targeted by land developers as the “hot spot” for the coming decades. Already, the Cooperative is supplying power to a massive 16.5 megawatt load called the Solana Business Complex in Southlake and Westlake, Texas. In addition, the Cooperative provides service to the corporate campuses of Fidelity Investments and Sabre, Inc. Also, the Cooperative is providing service to three Home Depots; Wal-Mart; Lowes; a Corning Cable Systems plant; Costco; Cabela’s Outdoor Store; several shopping centers and grocery stores; as well as the Keller and Carroll Independent School Districts.