Sutherland Coop Law Blog
content top

Coop-Friendly Railroad Reform Law Reportedly on Track

Federal regulators have reported that they are on track in implementing a railroad reform law intended to promote shipping efficiency and potentially competition among railroads.  The NRECA and electric cooperatives generally have pushed for reforms, recognizing the impact that costs of hauling coal can have on electric rates.
Continue Reading

Coops Offer Net Metering Alternatives

Michigan’s Cherryland Electric Cooperative and its supplier, Wolverine Power Cooperative, have developed a plan that would allow customers to choose between three options for participating in solar generation—a community solar subscription, a “buy all, sell all” option, which would allow solar owners to sell all power they generate back to their provider and then buy all their requirements from the provider, and traditional net...
Continue Reading

Iowa Coop Doubles as Solar Installer

Western Iowa Power Cooperative (WIPCO) has embraced growing interest in customer-owned solar and has begun installing solar systems—for both its customers and other utilities. WIPCO installed its first system in 2014 and has installed 952 kilowatts to date.
Continue Reading

NRECA Joins PJM Seeking Shutdown of FERC Floor Price Dispute

The NRECA has joined with PJM Interconnection LLC (PJM) and other utility groups to back the changes by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) to the PJM proposal dealing with artificial price suppression on the grid.  PJM asked the D.C. Circuit to deny the grid’s power providers challenge to the plan.  PJM said Monday that it is fine with FERC’s changes and, therefore, the power providers do not have grounds to appeal.
Continue Reading

Rural Electric Cooperative Empowered by Data Efficiency

Meade County Rural Electric Cooperative Corporation has leveraged leading utility management technology to cut costs and save time.
Continue Reading

East Kentucky Power Invests $2.9 Million in Landfill Production Expansion

East Kentucky Power Cooperative (East Kentucky Power) is expanding the capacity of its landfill gas-to-electric power plant next to the Bavarian Landfill in Boone County, Kentucky.  The $2.9 million expansion will increase power production to 4.6 MW and is expected to be completed before the end of the month.  This plant is one of six landfill gas-to-energy plants that East Kentucky Power operates throughout the state.
Continue Reading

Oklahoma Cooperative Executes Power Purchase Agreement to Receive Power from Cooperative

Northeast Oklahoma Electric Cooperative (NEOEC) terminated its relationship with Grand River Dam Authority and has executed a power purchase agreement for its members to receive electricity from KAMO Electric Cooperative.  NEOEC says the move will allow the members to receive electricity at a lower cost and the close proximity of KAMO technicians will allow NEOEC officials to respond to outages quicker.
Continue Reading

Department of Energy to Award $34MM for Cybersecurity Projects

The U.S. Department of Energy announced its plan to award $34 million for projects aimed at developing technologies and tools to increase cyberattack protection for the country’s energy infrastructure.  The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is receiving funding for a technology that can quickly identify anomalies in utility control communications that can indicate cyber compromise.  Smaller utilities can benefit from this program by finding solutions that can be used with other applications like billing or outage...
Continue Reading

Cooperatives Financing Efficiency Upgrades through Opt-in Tariffs

Smaller, rural cooperatives have been experimenting with a model that gets around a customer’s inability or unwillingness to take on debt or invest in energy efficiency upgrades through offering a voluntary on-bill tariff.  Cooperatives have been able to lead this innovation because shareholder interests and customer interests are aligned.  Put simply, the customer chooses the upgrades to be installed by a utility-paid contractor.  The voluntary tariff allows the utility to recover this expense, while customer offsets the money for the tariff with energy savings, decreasing the...
Continue Reading

Natural Gas Set Electricity Record

Despite an increase in price in recent months, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) is reporting that the amount of electricity produced by natural gas hit 4,950 gigawatt-hours per day in July.  This is 9 percent higher than the previous record set in July 2015.  Most of the growth came in the Midwest and the South, which offset the decline in natural gas generation in the West.  The EIA attributes this increase to warmer than average temperatures, which increased demand for energy...
Continue Reading

Three Coops Top J.D. Power Electric Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Study

For the second consecutive year, Central Florida-based SECO has topped the J.D. Power Electric Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Study (J.D. Power Study).  SECO’s customer satisfaction score of 769 was the highest recorded score not only among the coops but the entire J.D. Power Study, which looked at 137 electric utilities.  Two other coops also placed in the second and third spots on the overall list.  Jackson EMC occupies the second spot with a customer satisfaction score of 763 and Manassas, Virginia-based NOVEC occupies the third spot with a score of...
Continue Reading

Electric Coops Fuel Rural Broadband Growth

Electric cooperatives are helping to bring high-speed internet access to rural areas.  Today, about 40 electric coops offer or are in the process of building networks to provide high-speed internet service, compared with just one in 2010.
Continue Reading

Coops Prominent on Solar Energy Top 10 List

Electric cooperatives are major contributors to a surge of solar energy additions in the United States, according to an industry study. A trio of coops ranks among the top 10 utilities in cumulative solar watts per customer in a recent industry ranking.
Continue Reading

Two Wisconsin Coops Lead Charge on New Solar Project

A new solar project being developed in Wisconsin will serve the state’s electric cooperatives, providing 15 megawatts of capacity.  The “Sunflower II” array, to be located in Hammond, will be interconnected into the distribution system of St. Croix Electric Cooperative, which has contracted to buy 7 percent of the project’s output and will sell the balance of its power to generation and transmission cooperative Dairyland Power Cooperative.
Continue Reading