Sutherland Coop Law Blog
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Missouri Electric Coop Offers Members 18th Fastest Internet in U.S.

Co-Mo Connect, a Missouri internet service provider and subsidiary of Co-Mo Electric Cooperative, ranks 18th in the United States and 1st in the state of Missouri for speed of internet service provided.  Click here for more.
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Midwest Coops Support Increased Regional Planning

Representatives from two large generation and transmission cooperatives, Minnesota’s Great River Energy and Indiana’s Hoosier Energy, urged state and federal leaders to engage in more coordination at the regional level at a recent conference sponsored by the Midwestern Governors Association.  Coops suggested, among other things, that plans to comply with new Clean Air Act regulations be established at the regional, rather than state, level and expressed concerns about how Midcontinent Independent System Operator has imposed transmission development costs on cooperatives that are not in...
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USDA Announces Loan Guarantees for Rural Improvements

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced $1.4 billion in loan guarantees to improve rural electric infrastructure, including moneys for smart grid and renewable energy investments. Electric coops were among the recipients of this recent round of funding.  Click here for more information.
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Groundbreaking Held for New Maryland Gas-Fired Power Plant

The groundbreaking ceremony for the Wildcat Point Generation Facility, a gas-fired plant being built in Cecil County, Maryland, by Old Dominion Electric Cooperative (ODEC), generated such a large turnout that people had to take turns using the shovels and hard hats.  The ceremony on the grounds of Rock Springs Generation Facility in Maryland brought together the 11 coops that run ODEC.  When completed in the spring of 2017, Wildcat Point is expected to generate 1,000 MW of power.  For more on the current story, click here.  For more background on this project, click here to read...
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Michigan Coops Consider Merger Opportunity

Alger Delta Cooperative Electric Association (Alger Delta) may merge with Great Lakes Energy (GLE), according to an announcement made at Wednesday’s Alger Delta Board meeting.  Alger Delta officials say that a merger would lead to more stable electric rates and would save its residential customers an estimated $24 per month.  GLE, based in Boyne City, has 125,000 customers and Alger-Delta, based in Gladstone, Michigan, has 10,000 members.  Any merger would have to be approved by both Boards of Directors and the members of both coops. Membership voting could come sometime early in 2015...
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Recent CoBank Report Indicates Solar Growth

CoBank recently released a report noting that the U.S. could experience a jump in solar installations of more than 70 percent by 2016.  The study projects that solar installation will increase from 7 GW in 2014 to 12 GW in 2016.  The increase is based in large part on the Solar Investment Tax Credit, which is currently 30 percent but will drop to 10 percent in 2017.  Click here to read more about this story.
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Basin Awards Supply Contract for Peaking Plant in North Dakota

Basin Electric Power Cooperative (Basin) and Wärtsilä have entered into an agreement for the supply of generation technology at Basin’s planned 112 MW peaking power plant in Williston, North Dakota.  To read more about this story, please click here.
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Cooperative to Purchase Power from Eastern New Mexico Wind Farm

New Mexico’s Lea County Electric Cooperative (LCEC) has contracted to buy the output from the Anderson Wind Farm, which is currently under construction in Lea County.  The farm is in fact a series of several small 7- to 8-megawatt farms, a structure that allows the farms to provide power “behind the meter” and not be subject to the open market.  LCEC recently became a member of Western Farmers Power Cooperative (WFPC), and the power purchased from the Anderson farm, together with power to be purchased from WFPC, will help LCEC make required reductions of its purchases from another...
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North Dakota PSC Accepting Comments on EPA’s Proposed CO2 Rules

The North Dakota Public Service Commission (ND PSC) is accepting comments from electric utilities, electric cooperatives and any other interested stakeholders regarding the proposed CO2 rules of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  The ND PSC will use the information it receives when it prepares its official comments to the EPA.  The EPA has issued a proposed rule that would govern how much coal, natural gas and nuclear and renewable energy North Dakota and other states should use.  Utilities under the direct jurisdiction of the ND PSC will receive specific questions...
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North Carolina Coop’s Solar Farm to Provide Benefits to Members

Pee Dee Electric Cooperative has announced plans to install a 100-Kw community solar farm adjacent to its corporate headquarters.  The solar farm will produce about 150,000-kWh of electricity annually, and members of Pee Dee Electric will be able to purchase individual panels and sell the power produced by the panels back to the cooperative.  Members who participate in the project will receive a credit on their electric bills for their prorated share of the solar farm’s output.  The cooperative hopes to complete construction on the solar farm by the end of 2014. The Daily Journal has the...
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U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Challenge to EPA’s Authority

On Monday the U.S. Supreme Court denied an electric utility group’s challenge to the emissions standards for ozone pollution of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  Utility Air Regulatory Group filed a petition in April claiming that the July 2013 decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upholding the EPA’s 2008 National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone gives the agency too much discretion.  The Court, however, chose not to second-guess the science behind the agency’s rulemaking. The Supreme Court’s denial means that the D.C. Circuit...
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California Passes Metal Theft Law

California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed a law requiring regional scrap dealers to subscribe to a regional theft alert system.  Jessica Nelson, general manager of Golden State Power Cooperative, applauded the passage of this law as a positive step to stopping metal theft. Click here to read more.
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South Dakota Coops Bury Transmission for Reliability

Five South Dakota coops are using federal and state disaster funds to bury hundreds of miles of transmission lines.  The coops are focusing on reliability after a blizzard caused outages for thousands of customers in early October of last year.  Click here for more.
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North Dakota Coop Vies for Territory

The North Dakota Public Service Commission has ruled in favor of Montana-Dakota Utilities (MDU) in a territorial dispute with Capital Electric Cooperative (CEC) over which company should provide service to an industrial customer building a plant in McKenzie, North Dakota.  MDU and CEC divide territory between themselves under a service area agreement, but the agreement did not cover McKenzie.  Click here for more.
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