Eversheds Sutherland Coop Law Blog
content top

NRECA Approves of the White House’s Announcement of the Rural America Task Force

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) praises the Trump Administration’s creation of the Rural America Task Force as a sign of future prioritization of the economic development of rural American communities.
Continue Reading

Green Power EMC and Silicon Ranch Dedicate Second Solar Farm

Green Power EMC and Silicon Ranch, an independent solar power producer, dedicated a 52 MW solar farm in Jeff Davis County, GA that will serve more than 8,500 households each year. In December 2015, Green Power EMC and Silicon Ranch dedicated a 20 MW solar farm in Jeff Davis County, making the county one of the top solar communities in the country.
Continue Reading

Superior Court Justice Upholds Verdict for Coop

A Maine Superior Court Justice upheld a November 2016 jury verdict awarding $13.6 million to Eastern Maine Electric Cooperative. This verdict was the result of a finding that First Wind Holdings LLC and four of its former subsidiaries breached their contractual obligation to negotiate in good faith a contract to sell a section of an electricity transmission line to Eastern Maine Electric Cooperative.
Continue Reading

EPA to Review Power Plant Effluent Rule

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) announced that it will reconsider a rule that sets federal limits on the amount of toxic metal that may be discharged with power plants’ wastewater and has stayed the compliance dates in the rule. The EPA updated the rule in 2015 because the older version did not adequately address toxic metal discharges by not treating dissolved pollutants. The EPA’s response is due May 4.
Continue Reading

Coop CEO Testimony Outlines Cyber Threats to Power Grid

The chief executive officer (CEO) of the Arkansas Electric Cooperative testified, on behalf of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, before the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources as part of a hearing called “Efforts to Protect Energy Delivery Systems from Cybersecurity Threats” on the cyber threats facing the electric sector.
Continue Reading

Trump to Roll Back Environmental Protection Agency Regulations

President Donald Trump is expected to issue an executive order Tuesday that would withdraw the Clean Power Plan.  The order is also expected to lift the moratorium on the federal coal program and ease restrictions on hydraulic fracturing.
Continue Reading

Minnesota Governor Vetoes Bill on Electric Cooperative Disputes

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton vetoed a bill that would have removed the Minnesota Public Utility Commission’s authority to settle certain electric utility disputes between cooperatives and coop customers, including billing disputes regarding customer installation of renewable energy sources.  The bill was passed by the state senate last week and, if approved, would have vested dispute settlement authority in a third-party...
Continue Reading

Maine’s Swan’s Island Electric Cooperative to Dissolve

Swan’s Island Electric Cooperative members voted 265-29 in favor of dissolving one of the country’s smallest electric cooperatives.  The vote to sell their local utility to Emera Maine could close as early as March 31, 2017 and will effectively save the members $20 per month on their electricity bills but will sacrifice four full-time jobs and eight part-time jobs in a community heavily dependent on the fishing industry.
Continue Reading

Minnesota Governor to Review Bill on Electric Cooperative Disputes

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton is set to review a bill that would remove authority from the Minnesota Public Utility Commission in handling complaints from electricity customers and give such authority to a third-party mediator.  Supporters of the legislation feel the cooperatives should have to go to St. Paul to defend its practices as the cooperatives boards are locally elected by its...
Continue Reading

Coop Solar Energy Capacity Continues to Grow

On March 9, 2017 the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association released new information concerning the total solar energy capacity of the United States electric cooperatives.  Specifically, coops are on pace to add 480 MW of solar energy in 2017, which would bring their total capacity to 873 MW.  For comparison, the total solar capacity was 180 MW in 2015 and merely 37 MW in 2010.  Much of the growth in solar can be attributed to collaboration among coops, as 42 percent of coop solar projects are joint...
Continue Reading

Tennessee Bill Allows Rural Cooperatives to Offer Video Services to Customers

In an important step to expand access to high-speed internet in rural Tennessee, the Broadband Accessibility Act has been amended to now allow cooperatives to have cable-like television offerings in areas many residents do not currently have broadband access.
Continue Reading

NRECA Supports Decision to Revisit WOTUS

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) has issued a statement supporting the Trump Administration’s decision to revisit the Waters of the U.S. rule (WOTUS).
Continue Reading

USDA Announces Loans to Coops

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced $202 million in loans to coops to upgrade electric service in Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.  These loans include $14.7 million for coops to implement Smart Grid technology.
Continue Reading

Cooperatives Strike Deal to Bring High-Speed Internet to Rural New Mexico

The Kit Carson Electric Cooperative and Continental Divide Electric Cooperative recently struck a three year deal that will bring broadband services to Grants, New Mexico.  Grants is a rural town of about 9,200 people that previously lacked the infrastructure needed to support high-speed internet.  The cooperatives believe that bringing high-speed internet to rural areas such as Grants will increase business competition and continue the advancement of technology in rural...
Continue Reading