Sutherland Coop Law Blog
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Two Kansas Coops Establish Strategic Alliance

Kaw Valley Electric Cooperative and Leavenworth-Jefferson Electric Cooperative, both located in northeast Kansas, have established a strategic alliance in order to control costs while ensuring affordable and reliable service. A coop representative said that a consolidation of the coops could deliver cost savings of more than $13 million over 10 years.  Trustees of both coops approved the alliance during a special joint meeting on October 3 and both coops plan to give their members a chance to vote on consolidation at their 2016 annual meetings.  Click here to read more on this...
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Biomass Plant Completed for Texas Coop

Gemma Power Systems, LLC has completed construction of a 49.9 MW biomass plant in Woodville, TX for East Texas Electric Cooperative (ETEC) Woodville Renewable Power Project. The biomass plant, which features a Shin Nippon steam turbine generator and a Riley Power advanced stoker boiler with integrated air quality control system, has completed testing and been turned over to ETEC for commercial operation. Click here to read more on this story.
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Power Company Settlement Ends Obstacle to Large Florida Development

The developers of Babcock Ranch (Babcock) in Florida have reached a settlement with two utility providers, including Lee County Electric Cooperative (LCEC), which will allow developers to break ground on the development. The dispute arose over a proposal by the Babcock Ranch Community Independent Special District to create its own power utility for the planned development.  LCEC, which also had been scheduled to sell power in the area, challenged Babcock’s plan, saying the new utility would cost it revenue and make it raise rates for its members. The settlement allows Florida Power &...
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USDA Announces Efficiency Funding for Two Coops

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Utilities Service will provide $10.5 million in loans from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Loan Program to Roanoke Electric Membership Corporation and North Arkansas Electric Cooperative.  The funds will be used by members of the coops to invest in efficiency upgrades to their homes or businesses.  Click here to read more.
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Nevada Coop Launches Utility-Scale Solar Project

Nevada’s Valley Electric Association, which has over the past few years implemented an award-winning solar water heating program, is planning a 15-MW solar generation project, which will include a community solar component.  Click here for more information.
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Wolverine Announces New Gas-Fired Plant

Michigan’s Wolverine Power Cooperative (Wolverine) announced earlier this week its plans to develop a new gas-fired power plant in Elmira Township, Otsego County.  The site for the new plant, called the Alpine Power Plant, was selected after a nearly two-year evaluation period and was picked for its proximity to existing pipelines and electric transmission lines.  Click here for more information.
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NRECA Intervenes in Endangered Species Litigation

The National Rural Electric Cooperatives Association (NRECA) has intervened in a lawsuit filed by conservation groups against the Fish and Wildlife Service’s classification of the lesser prairie chicken as “threatened” rather than “endangered.”  NRECA told a federal court that listing the chicken as “endangered” would affect more than 20 electric cooperatives that have already undertaken significant and costly efforts to mitigate impacts to the bird. Click here to read...
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Federal Court Delays Mandate Overturning FERC Order 745

The federal court that recently overturned the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) controversial Order 745, which required consumers be paid for using less power during high-demand periods, has granted FERC’s petition for a stay.  The federal court said it would delay its mandate until December 16.  During the stay, FERC could file a writ of certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court. To read more please click here.
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Three U.S. Coops Listed in Top 300 Coops Globally

The International Co-operative Alliance’s Global 300, a list of the world’s largest cooperatives, included three U.S. electric cooperatives—Basin Electric Power Cooperative (Basin Electric), Oglethorpe Power Corporation (Oglethorpe) and Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association.  Basin Electric and Oglethorpe were also in the top 15 industry and utility cooperatives.  For more on the Global 300, click here.
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Missouri Electric Coop Offers Members 18th Fastest Internet in U.S.

Co-Mo Connect, a Missouri internet service provider and subsidiary of Co-Mo Electric Cooperative, ranks 18th in the United States and 1st in the state of Missouri for speed of internet service provided.  Click here for more.
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Midwest Coops Support Increased Regional Planning

Representatives from two large generation and transmission cooperatives, Minnesota’s Great River Energy and Indiana’s Hoosier Energy, urged state and federal leaders to engage in more coordination at the regional level at a recent conference sponsored by the Midwestern Governors Association.  Coops suggested, among other things, that plans to comply with new Clean Air Act regulations be established at the regional, rather than state, level and expressed concerns about how Midcontinent Independent System Operator has imposed transmission development costs on cooperatives that are not in...
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USDA Announces Loan Guarantees for Rural Improvements

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced $1.4 billion in loan guarantees to improve rural electric infrastructure, including moneys for smart grid and renewable energy investments. Electric coops were among the recipients of this recent round of funding.  Click here for more information.
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Groundbreaking Held for New Maryland Gas-Fired Power Plant

The groundbreaking ceremony for the Wildcat Point Generation Facility, a gas-fired plant being built in Cecil County, Maryland, by Old Dominion Electric Cooperative (ODEC), generated such a large turnout that people had to take turns using the shovels and hard hats.  The ceremony on the grounds of Rock Springs Generation Facility in Maryland brought together the 11 coops that run ODEC.  When completed in the spring of 2017, Wildcat Point is expected to generate 1,000 MW of power.  For more on the current story, click here.  For more background on this project, click here to read...
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Michigan Coops Consider Merger Opportunity

Alger Delta Cooperative Electric Association (Alger Delta) may merge with Great Lakes Energy (GLE), according to an announcement made at Wednesday’s Alger Delta Board meeting.  Alger Delta officials say that a merger would lead to more stable electric rates and would save its residential customers an estimated $24 per month.  GLE, based in Boyne City, has 125,000 customers and Alger-Delta, based in Gladstone, Michigan, has 10,000 members.  Any merger would have to be approved by both Boards of Directors and the members of both coops. Membership voting could come sometime early in 2015...
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