Sutherland Coop Law Blog
content top

Mississippi Regulator Imposes New Annual Filing Requirement

The Mississippi Public Service Commission directed electric coops to make an annual filing to provide information on open meetings, board member elections, coop fund management and other matters to keep customers apprised of their respective ownership shares and worth.  The filing is due May 1 of each year beginning in 2015. Click here to read more.
Continue Reading

Basin Electric Slated to Purchase New Wind Generation

The North Dakota Public Service Commission approved construction of a new 172-MW wind farm to be located in the western area of the state.  Basin Electric Power Coop (Basin Electric) has signed a 25-year power purchase agreement for the full output of the $240 million project being built by Antelope Hills Wind Project LLC. Antelope Hills is aiming for a late 2015 in-service date.  Click here to read full story published by Dickinson Press.
Continue Reading

Coop Employees See Added Pension Security

President Obama recently signed into law a new measure to ensure that current coop employees under the age of 62 maintain access to the “quasi-retirement” feature of the NRECA Retirement Security Plan.  Absent the new law, these employees would not receive the full distribution earned and for which electric coops have paid. To learn more about this exciting development, please click here.
Continue Reading

Oklahoma Coop Members Successfully Petition to Elect New Board

Several thousand members of Choctaw Electric Cooperative, based in Hugo, Oklahoma, have signed a petition to recall the board of directors in the wake of an investigation into potential embezzlement by the coop’s former general manager.  To read more please click here.
Continue Reading

Georgia Coops to Purchase Energy and RECs from Southern Power Solar Facility

Southern Power has announced plans to develop a 131-MW photovoltaic solar project in Georgia.  The electricity and associated renewable energy credits (RECs) generated by the facility will be sold to Cobb EMC, Flint EMC and Sawnee EMC pursuant to 25-year power purchase agreements.  To read more about this story please click here.
Continue Reading

ETEC Using Pine Trees to Add Capacity

East Texas Electric Cooperative (ETEC) says the new Woodville Renewable Power Project is generating about 50 MWs of electricity from pine trees and timber waste produced by local logging operations, enough to meet the needs of 35,000 homes.  “Power from the plant is already being used by four of the G&T’s 10 distribution co-ops.” ETEC is attempting to mitigate the market’s volatility as it relates to wholesale power supply costs, especially during the region’s particularly hot or cold stretches.  Please click here to read...
Continue Reading

Fitch Ratings—Stable Outlook for Power in 2015

Fitch Ratings’ 2015 Outlook reports that electric coops and other power suppliers are positioned to meet several near-term challenges, such as impending environmental regulatory deadlines, rate pressures and energy efficiency. The results are a “Stable” outlook and ratings for the sector. Click here to learn more.
Continue Reading

2014 Electricity Rates on the Rise

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) issued a December 9 report finding that 2014 residential, commercial and industrial electricity rates increased from 2013 rates. The change largely is due to higher natural gas prices and resulting fuel costs for power generators. Click here for more information.
Continue Reading

NRECA Supports New NERC Grid Protection Standards

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) is welcoming the North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s (NERC) new Physical Security Grid Reliability Standards as a framework for cooperatives and other utilities to assess physical system risk and identify critical facilities, says NRECA CEO Jo Ann Emerson.  To read more please click here.
Continue Reading

Michigan Coop Merger Talks Appear to Stall

Merger talks between the Alger Delta Cooperative Electric Association (Alger Delta) and Great Lakes Energy Cooperative have been complicated by Alger Delta’s “no sale” policy.  Some members of the board for each coop remain interested in pursuing a merger.  Proponents of a merger argue that it could reduce bills for some members of the combined entity by as much as $24 a month.  Click here for more (subscription required).
Continue Reading

New Great River Energy CHP Plan Online

Minnesota-based Great River Energy’s (GRE) Spiritwood coal plant came online last month in North Dakota.  The combined heat and power plant is nearly twice as efficient as conventional coal plants.  In addition to generating power for GRE’s members, the plant will produce steam energy for an adjacent malting facility and a soon to open biorefinery.  Click here for more.
Continue Reading

Wyoming Coops Execute Management Services Agreement

Beartooth Electric Cooperative (Beartooth) and Lower Valley Energy (LVE) have entered into a three-year contract for LVE to manage Beartooth in a deal that is expected to create significant savings for Beartooth and its members.  To read more please click here.
Continue Reading

Supreme Court Agrees to Review Significant EPA Rule

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review the new power plant emissions caps of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  The suit was brought by industry trade groups and almost two dozen states, who argued that the EPA did not adequately consider the costs associated with complying with this regulation.  The immediate effect of any ruling in this case may be limited, as utilities have already begun taking measures to address emissions and announcing plant closures.  However, any ruling would likely have a greater impact on EPA rules in other cases. Please click here to read...
Continue Reading

Texas Coops Purchase Wind Power

East Texas Electric Cooperative and Northeast Texas Electric Cooperative recently signed purchase agreements for wind power generated by an Apex Clean Energy subsidiary’s wind project, set to come online in 2015.  Click here for more.
Continue Reading