Eversheds Sutherland Coop Law Blog
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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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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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