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Arkansas Cooperative Adds 150 MW of Wind Energy to Portfolio

Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. (AECC) has reached a long-term agreement to purchase power from the 150-MW Origin Wind Farm located in southeast Oklahoma.  The Origin Wind Farm is owned by Enel Green Power North America, Inc., and AECC will be the only offtaker of electricity generated by this facility.  To read more, please click here.
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Texas Coop Secures Peaker Output

San Bernard Electric Coop (San Bernard EC) has entered into a long-term power purchase agreement with an independent power developer for 50 MW of generation from a natural gas peaker plant. The move helps San Bernard EC secure generation capacity as reliability concerns rise in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas due to strained generation and market resources. To learn more about this development, click here.
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Iowa Coop’s Solar Farm Receives International Recognition

The Solar Electric Power Association recently named Farmers Electric Cooperative’s (FEC) Kalona solar farm, launched in July 2014, a national leader in solar energy.  Click here to read an earlier article posted August 1, 2014 by Sutherland regarding FEC’s Kalona solar farm. Click here to read the most recent article.
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Alaska Coop Honored for Clean Energy Efforts

Alaska’s Kodiak Electric Association (KEA) was one of only eight State Leadership in Clean Energy Awards given out by the Clean Energy State’s Alliance this year.  KEA generated approximately 99.7 percent of its power from renewable (including hydroelectric) sources through the first nine months of this year.  Click here for more.
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Coops React to Rare Bird’s Status as a Threatened Species

Some electric cooperatives are unhappy about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to list the Gunnison sage-grouse as a threatened species, which entitles the rare bird to protection under the Endangered Species Act.  The ground-dwelling bird resides in southwestern Colorado and southeastern Utah and has a population of less than 5,000.  Electric coops in the bird’s territory are determining whether they can operate effectively under the agency’s decision, which includes a rule that could provide some exemptions for some affected parties.  Click here for the full...
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EPA Clean Power Plan Raises Reliability Concerns, Says NERC

The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) has released its first assessment of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan.  In its report NERC identified several reliability challenges posed by the proposed rule, including the need for significant infrastructure requirements and pipeline expansions to maintain reliability.  To read more please click here.
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CoBank Names New Senior VP—Electric Distribution, Water and Community Facilities

CoBank has named Nivin Elgohary as its Senior Vice President, Electric Distribution, Water, and Community Facilities.  Elgohary previously served as Assistant Administrator with the Rural Utilities Service.  To read more about this story please click here.
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ERCOT Report Predicts Rise in Prices under EPA Power Plant Rule

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) published a report analyzing certain potential effects of the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan, which limits greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants.  Among other things, the report provides different estimates of the various increases in locational marginal prices based on different emissions scenarios.  For more on ERCOT’s report, click here.
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Shots Fired at Pennsylvania Coop’s Substation

On November 5 gunfire struck a substation of Pennsylvania’s Northwestern Rural Electric Cooperative, causing a mineral oil leak and other damage that will require around $250,000 to repair and remediate.  Police are investigating the incident.  Click here for more.
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Great River Energy Burns Lignite More Efficiently

Minnesota-based Great River Energy (GRE) can now burn lignite coal more efficiently, thanks to a moisture-reduction process.  Because of its high moisture content, lignite has traditionally been used only at “mine-mouth” plants located close to a production source, but a newly-patented refining process allows lignite to produce more energy and to be transported before use.  Click here for more on this story.
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SMECO Completes Reliability Upgrades

Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) recently completed a line upgrade project to boost reliability, which included running a line under the Patuxent River.  Click here for a Nov. 25, 2013 Sutherland posting concerning this subject. Click here for a recent story.
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Coops Concerned about Coal Transportation

Electric cooperatives are expressing concern that railroads may fail to deliver all the coal necessary to meet winter’s heating demand.  The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s CEO, joined by other industry leaders, has reached out to the Surface Transportation Board (Board) to express these concerns and to request that the Board require BNSF Railway to provide a coal service recovery plan.  Click here for more.
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Southwest Power Pool to Integrate Basin Electric

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has accepted a proposal from Southwest Power Pool (SPP) to significantly expand its geographic footprint in the Upper Great Plains region of the United States.  SPP’s proposal includes the integration of Basin Electric Power Cooperative, a portion of the Western Area Power Administration and Heartland Consumers Power District into SPP.  To read more, please click here.
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New Copper Theft Law Passes in in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania recently passed a law imposing increased penalties for metal theft, including stronger penalties for repeat offenders.  The new law establishes three types of misdemeanors for metal theft under $1000, based on the value of items stolen.  If the value of the metal stolen exceeds $1000, the metal theft will constitute a third-degree felony.  If an individual is convicted of metal theft three times, the offense becomes a third-degree felony automatically, carrying a punishment of up to seven years in prison and/or a $15,000 fine.  Click here to read...
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