Sutherland Coop Law Blog
content top

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

Swan’s Island Makes another Attempt to Merge with Emera Maine

After Maine regulators denied Swan’s Island Electric Coop (Swan’s Island) to merge with Emera Maine (Emera) because the merger would have put a disproportionate burden on Emera’s mainland customers, Swan’s Island has submitted a new merger proposal putting more of the financial burden of the merger on the island utility customers.  Regulators are schedule to review the revised plan on February 22.
Continue Reading

Anza Electric Receives California-Supported Loan for Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

Anza Electric Cooperative (Anza Electric) will be the first recipient of a state-sponsored loan for a charging station program started by the California State Treasurer and the California Energy Commission.  The program’s goal is to help make electric charging stations more accessible to assist California in reducing carbon pollution to its mandated 40 percent goal by 2030.  The program incentivizes businesses and multi-unit residential properties to install electric vehicle equipment with rebates and loan-loss...
Continue Reading

Dairyland Purchasing 80 MW of Wind Energy

Effective February 15, 2017 Dairyland Power Cooperative (Dairyland) will begin purchasing 80 MW of renewable energy from the Barton Wind Farm.  The 80 MW of renewable energy purchased by Dairyland is enough to power more than 19,000 homes.
Continue Reading

NY Provides $3 million for Coop Electric Vehicle Purchases

Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that New York will provide $3 million in funding to help rural electricity cooperatives purchase electric vehicles to replace less fuel-efficient vehicles. Cooperatives that currently receive hydropower from the New York Power Authority are eligible to participate in this new program, which provides zero interest financing recovered over three years.
Continue Reading

NRECA Calls for Trump Administration Focus on Rural Issues

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) was joined by 40 organizations in a letter to President Trump urging the new administration to focus on issues affecting rural families and businesses by designating a senior member of the White House staff as a rural advisor and/or creating a specific office within the administration with a direct focus on rural issues.
Continue Reading

Arizona Electric joins with ATC Development to Provide Transmission Services

Arizona Electric Power Cooperative (Arizona Electric) has entered into a joint operating agreement with ATC Development Company (ATC Development), a Wisconsin-based utility, to develop transmission projects in the southwestern United States under a new transmission company “ATC Southwest.”  ATC Development’s expertise in transmission development combined with Arizona Electric’s relationships with energy providers throughout the southwest makes for a complementary...
Continue Reading

Lake Region Electric to Construct Natural Gas Pipeline

Lake Region Electric Cooperative (LREC) and Minnesota Gas will construct an intrastate pipeline in Minnesota to serve natural gas customers in the Deer Creek and Parkers Prairie communities.  The $1.6 million pipeline is scheduled for service in August 2017 and will be owned and maintained by LREC.
Continue Reading

DOE Awards $3.24MM Grant to Texas Cooperative and Energy Storage Companies for Solar Energy Integration

Pedernales Electric Cooperative (PEC), the largest electric distribution cooperative in the United States, and Advanced Microgrid Solutions were awarded a $3.24 million grant by the Department of Energy (DOE) as part of the DOE SunShot Initiative, aimed to accelerate the adoption of cost-competitive solar technologies.  The grant will help demonstrate the use of energy storage technologies to integrate more solar energy into electric grid in...
Continue Reading

Tennessee Cooperatives to Benefit from State’s Broadband Accessibility Initiative

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam announced a proposal to provide $45 million in grants and tax credits over three years to service providers, including the state’s private, nonprofit electric cooperatives, in an effort to make broadband available to currently underserved homes and businesses.
Continue Reading

Dairyland Pledges to Cut Reliance on Coal and Diversify Energy Sources

Dairyland Power Cooperative (Dairyland) CEO Barbara Nick recently informed a renewable energy forum that it will aim to cut its reliance on coal by 20 percent within the next ten years.  Nick asserted that this pledge will be kept even if Donald Trump loosens environmental regulations on coal because energy diversification is “just plain good common business sense.”  Dairyland expects to add more energy from natural gas and wind and solar energy in order to accomplish this goal.
Continue Reading

Mohave Electric and Constellation Complete 13.8 MW Solar Generation Project in Arizona

On January 18, 2017 Mohave Electric Cooperative (Mohave Electric) and Constellation, a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation, announced the completion of a 13.8-megawatt (DC) solar generation project in Fort Mohave, Arizona.  The project is a ground-mounted solar power system that is located across 84 acres.  Constellation is the owner and operator of the project. Although the project required no upfront capital from Mohave Electric, Mohave Electric will purchase the electricity from Constellation through a 30-year power purchase...
Continue Reading

Eleventh Circuit Rules Co-op Members Are Not Entitled to Immediate Cash for Profits

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit dismissed (subscription required) a case brought by members of the Central Alabama Electric Cooperative (CAEC) against the central Alabama utility for distributing excess revenue by crediting the members’ capital accounts rather than making cash payments. The court found that Alabama law 37-6-20 does not require CAEC to distribute such patronage funds only in cash, but rather in the manner provided by the bylaws, which specifies that excess revenue be distributed to the patron’s capital...
Continue Reading

KIUC Executes Agreement to Construct Hybrid Solar and Energy Storage System

Kaua’i Island Utility Cooperative has executed a power purchase agreement with AES Distributed Energy, Inc. for a plant that will provide solar energy plus a battery-based energy storage system. The project will consist of 28 MW of solar photovoltaic energy and a 20 MW five-hour duration energy storage system....
Continue Reading