Sutherland Coop Law Blog
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D.C. Circuit Hears Challenge to Clean Power Plan

Ten D.C. Circuit judges heard argument regarding the EPA’s authority to enact the Clean Power Plan and the rule’s constitutionality.  All active judges on the D.C. Circuit, with the exception of Merrick Garland, heard arguments from state government, power industry groups, the federal government and environmental groups.
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GridLiance to Purchase Transmission System from Valley Electric Association

The Board of Directors of Valley Electric Association has approved the sale of its 230 kV High Voltage Transmission System to GridLiance Holdco, L.P. (GridLiance).  The acquisition consists of approximately 160 miles of transmission lines and related substation equipment.
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US Court of Appeals to Hear Arguments Regarding Clean Power Plan on Tuesday

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia will hear arguments regarding the EPA’s Clean Power Plan on Tuesday, September 27.  Twenty-six states have joined West Virginia to challenge the Plan, which requires states to cut greenhouse gas emissions by a cumulative 32 percent from 2005 to 2030.  Leading the plaintiffs is the West Virginia Attorney General, Patrick Morrisey.  In total, 16 lawyers are expected to present arguments before the Court on Tuesday.
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Great River Energy and WH Launch Dickinson Solar Project

The Dickinson Solar Project constructed by Great River Energy and Wright-Hennepin Cooperative Electric Association (WH) is now operational and will generate 2.25 MW of solar energy for the members of WH.  The project is the second largest solar installation in Minnesota and the largest solar array owned by Minnesota cooperatives.  The Project was constructed on a 13-acre site owned by Great River Energy so that no farmland or wooded areas were harmed by its construction.  An event was held September 16 at the solar array’s location in order to recognize the project’s...
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Changes to Power Contracts Authorized by Basin Electric Directors

The directors of Basin Electric Power Cooperative (Basin Electric) authorized an amendment to Powder River Energy Corporation’s and Upper Missouri Power Cooperative’s wholesale power contracts that will allow Basin Electric to supply electricity to Tongue River Electric Cooperative, Fergus Electric Cooperative and Mid-Yellowstone Electric Cooperative effective January 1, 2017.
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Coal Ash Legislation Passes Senate

New coal ash legislation passed in the Senate recently in a 95-3 vote.  The new legislation gives state agencies the authority to enforce federal regulation through state permits.
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Coop Members are Going Wireless

Wireless technologies are providing coops with new opportunities to help members manage costs.
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Dairyland Power Begins Construction of New Solar Project

Dairyland Power Cooperative (Dairyland Power) recently broke ground on what will become one of Wisconsin’s largest solar projects.  The project, which is located in Medford, Wisconsin, will generate approximately 2.5 MW of electricity—enough to power around 450 homes.  Once completed, it will include an array of 2,992 solar panels covering 11 acres of land.  The project is one of many new projects that Dairyland Power has launched in Wisconsin as part of an effort to boost its solar generation...
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Cobb EMC is the Most Affordable Electric Provider in Georgia

The 2016 Georgia PSC (PSC) summer survey found that the rates of the Cobb Electric Membership Corporation (Cobb EMC) are the lowest in Georgia.  According to the PSC’s survey, compared to the average electric utility customer, Cobb EMC members save approximately $31.66 dollars per month on their summer bills.
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Western Farmers Adds Utility-Scale Solar

Western Farmers Electric Cooperative (Western Farmers) is adding 43 MW of utility-scale solar through power purchase agreements and projects it has planned or under construction.  Western Farmers has agreed to purchase 25 MW from the Caprock Solar Power Project, which is under development in New Mexico, and is developing 18 MW of utility-scale solar at five locations near Western Farmers’ substations in Oklahoma.
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Virginia Announces First Community Solar Project

BARC Electric has developed the first community solar project in Virginia.  The facility in Rockbridge, Virginia will benefit the member-owners who reside in the counties of Rockbridge, Bath, Highland, Augusta and Alleghany.
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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.
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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...
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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.
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