Eversheds Sutherland Coop Law Blog
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Coop to Expand with Natural Gas

Lake Region Electric Cooperative has announced that it is expanding into the natural gas business as Lake Region Energy Service. This will be a partnership with Greater Minnesota Gas, Inc., and it expects gas distribution facilities will be in place by late summer 2017.
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Coops Offer Geothermal Programs

Several coops are offering programs and rebates to install geothermal systems designed to lower demand. The cooperative works with geothermal companies and developers to put in a loop system, and owns, maintains and repairs the loop system.
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U.S. Senators Oppose Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s Plan to Privatize Federal Transmission Assets

A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators asked Energy Secretary Rick Perry to reconsider a plan to auction off U.S. Department of Energy transmission assets used to deliver power from federally owned dams to utilities and rural cooperatives in 34 states on the grounds that privatization of these assets would cause rate increases.
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Dairyland Power Cooperative Partners with Minnesota Power on Natural Gas Power Plant Project

Dairyland Power Cooperative is partnering with another utility, Minnesota Power, to build a $700 million 550-megawatt natural gas power plant in Superior, Wisconsin. If approved by regulators, construction on the plant will commence in 2020 and plant operation is anticipated to be achieved by 2025.
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GRE to Test Carbon Capture Technologies

Great River Energy (GRE), a regional power cooperative, is seeking funding for carbon capture research. The funding would support a project at its Spiritwood Station that seeks to use fly ash to capture carbon dioxide and a project that would inject flue gas into an onsite greenhouse at its Coal Creek Station.
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NRECA Submits Comments to EPA Regarding Air, Waste, and Water Issues

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding opportunities to reduce the regulatory burden from certain regulations under Executive Order 13777, which directs the heads of federal agencies to seek input from entities significantly affected by Federal regulations.  NRECA commented on various (i) air, (ii) waste, and (iii) water issues in its eight-page...
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Bandera Electric Cooperative Modernizes Electric Grid

Bandera Electric Cooperative (BEC), a rural Texas cooperative, recently completed its first distribution circuit automation project in the first step in developing a “smart grid” which will increase the reliability, efficiency, safety, and cost effectiveness of the power system.  The distribution system automation will provide real-time adjustment to changing loads and operating conditions allowing BEC to better quantify the value of solar during peak...
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USDA Awards Its First Loans under the Rural Energy Savings Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that it will provide two rural energy providers, South Carolina’s KW Savings Co. and Ohio’s Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council, with $13 million and $1 million loans, respectively, under the Rural Energy Savings Program. Seven rural electric cooperatives are the intended recipients of KW Savings Co.’s loan funds.
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Tennessee Governor Signs the Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Act

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed the Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Act, a bill permitting rural electric cooperatives to provide broadband services in the state.  This legislation is intended to increase the provision of broadband services to Tennessee’s unserved areas.
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KIUC Considers Deregulation from Hawaii PUC

Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) is currently considering removing itself from the authority of Hawaii’s Public Utility Commission (PUC) and changing to a deregulated or minimally-regulated status. The primary advantages of KIUC’s deregulation from the PUC would be lower costs for its members and greater flexibility to respond to member’s concerns and fluctuations in market conditions.  Although there is no clear timeline for KIUC’s potential deregulation, David Bissell, KIUC’s President and CEO, has indicated that the next important step will be to seek the input of KIUC’s...
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FEMA Awards $6 Million Grant to Bury Power Lines

FEMA has awarded Kootenai Electric Cooperative a $6 million federal grant to reduce power outages from storms.  The grant will go toward burying 45 miles of transmission and distribution lines.
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New Mexico Cooperative Breaks Ground on New Solar Project

Kit Carson Electric Cooperative (KCEC) recently broke ground on the first of seven solar arrays on the Picuris Pueblo.  KCEC has signed a power purchase agreement to acquire all of the energy produced by the project.
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D.C. Circuit Pauses Litigation Over Clean Power Plan

On Friday, the D.C. Circuit granted the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) stay request regarding the Clean Power Plan and ordered the parties to file briefs by May 15 on whether the cases should be remanded to the EPA or just kept on hold.  Since President Trump’s executive order last month regarding “energy independence,” the EPA has asked for additional time to review the plan and revise or rescind it.
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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.
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