Sutherland Coop Law Blog
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EPA’s Clean Power Plan Could Hurt Electric Coops

The Clean Power Plan of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calls for existing power plants to slash their greenhouse gas emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. This reduction could force rural electric cooperatives to prematurely close their coal-fired power plants, creating a multibillion-dollar debt for the nonprofit electricity providers. (Subscription required)
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Valley Electric Association (NV) Announces Plans for Solar Project

Bombard Electric, LLC will engineer, procure and construct a 15 MW Solar Project (the “Project”) for Valley Electric Association, Inc. (“VEA”) in Pahrump, Nevada with the plan for the Project to start delivering energy on July 1, 2016.  VEA’s fixed rate power-purchase agreement with Nevada Valley Solar Solutions I, LLC will provide VEA with one of the lowest priced solar energy contracts in the country and afford VEA’s members lower energy...
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New Hydro Facility in Alaska Begins Operations

The Gartina Falls hydroelectric project, located near Hoonah, Alaska and developed by Inside Passage Electric Cooperative, began operations at the beginning of August.  The project is expected to help the local village cut its use of diesel use by 30 percent.  To read more about this story, please click here.
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Tri-State Fights EPA MATS Rule for Colorado Facility

Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Inc. (Tri-State) has renewed its attempt to suspend the April 2016 compliance deadline under the Mercury and Air Toxics (MATS) rule for the 110-MW Nucla Station.  Tri-State has asked the D.C. Circuit to suspend the compliance deadline, arguing that EPA must provide an evaluation of whether the rule is justified.  To read more, please click here.
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Coop Challenges EPA’s New Coal Ash Rule

Missouri-based Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc. is among the industry players challenging the new coal ash rule of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the final version of which was published in April.  Click here for more information (subscription required).
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Ouachita Electric Cooperative Enters Into Service Agreement with Today’s Power Inc. for Solar Power

Today’s Power Inc., a subsidiary of Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc., will install and service a 100 kW AC solar array for Ouachita Electric Cooperative.  The system will involve approximately 312 solar panels at 410 watts each and can ultimately lower the cost of power to cooperative members at a relatively low capital investment.  Read more about the service agreement here.
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Michigan Cooperative Transitions to Member-Regulation

The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) has approved the transition of Midwest Energy Cooperative to member-regulation.  The utility will begin member-regulation on August 24.  Click here for more information.
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Large USDA Loan Awarded to North Dakota Electric Coop

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved a $46 million loan to Central Power Electric Cooperative (CPEC).  The loan will help finance over 50 miles of new power lines and several substations.  CPEC serves over 50,000 customers in 25 North Dakota counties.  Please click here for more information.
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Touchstone Receives Feedback on Potential “Value-Added Services” for Coops

Touchstone Energy’s 2014-2015 Survey on the Cooperative Difference solicited responses from consumer members on certain “value-added services” that coops may be able to provide.  Outage alerts, energy efficiency programs and community solar all received positive feedback.  Click here for more.
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Oklahoma Coop Brings in More Solar Energy

Tri-County Electric Cooperative (Tri-County) has reached an agreement with Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AEC) by which AEC will supply Tri-County with a one-megawatt solar array.  Tri-County members who participate in its new community solar program will be able to purchase electricity generated by the solar array.  Click here to read more.
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Flathead Electric Cooperative Launches Community Solar Program

Flathead Electric Cooperative is launching a community Solar Utility Network in Montana and installing 365 solar panels.  The project will allow customers to purchase one of the panels in the solar array, which will provide monthly power credits for 25 years.  For more information, please click here.
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NRECA Publishes Negative Impact of EPA’s Plan

The National Rural Electric Cooperative (NRECA) created a webpage whereby it shows the nationwide coal plant closures and harmful economic impact that will result from the EPA’s Clean Power Plan (Plan), disproportionately affecting rural coop consumer members.  Read more about NRECA’s opposition to the Plan here.
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Great River Supplies Heat and Steam to New North Dakota Biofuels Refinery

The Dakota Spirit AgEnergy plant receives its heat and steam from Great River Energy’s (Great River) Spiritwood Station coal plant.  Spiritwood Station is fueled with refined lignite from Great River’s Coal Creek station 150 miles away.  Read more about Great River’s involvement with the Dakota plant here.
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CFC and NRCO Secure $100 Million to Support Solar Projects for Cooperatives

The National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC) and National Renewables Cooperative Organization (NRCO) recently secured $100 million that will go to support solar projects for electric cooperatives.  The funds will be used to make solar energy more economically feasible for electric cooperatives by supporting utility-scale cooperative projects ranging in size from 1 to 50 MW.  The move follows the success of a similar program—the Solar Cooperative Community Projects Program—which was launched in 2013.  Click here to read...
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