Sutherland Coop Law Blog
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Minnesota Jury Rules in Favor of Dairy Farmers

A jury has awarded the owners of a family farm near Pine River, Minnesota damages based on claims against a local electric cooperative.  The family claimed that stray voltage caused issues with its dairy cows.  To read more please click here.
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Virginia Coop Successful in Pole Attachment Case

The State Corporation Commission of Virginia (SCC) has sided with Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative (NOVEC) in a dispute regarding the rates Comcast must pay per pole attachment.  The SCC said that NOVEC met its burden of proof in demonstrating that its pole attachment rates were just and reasonable.  To read more about this story please click here.
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Hoosier Energy Enters New Wind Deal

Indiana generation and transmission cooperative Hoosier Energy Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Hoosier Energy) has entered a deal with EDP Renewables under which Hoosier Energy will be purchasing 25 percent of the output of Illinois’s 100-MW Rail Splitter Wind Farm by the end of the year.  Click here for more.
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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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