Sutherland Coop Law Blog
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Middle Tennessee Cooperative Withdraws Offer to Purchase Electric Utility

Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corp. informed the Mayor of Murfreesboro that it has withdrawn its offer to purchase Murfreesboro Electric Department which was recently valued between $175.5 million and $247.3 million. The City Council is discussing whether to take away the utility’s authority to make decisions as a governing body and convert the members into an advisory board to make recommendations for the elected officials to consider for approval.
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Wabash Valley Power Association Purchases Participation Interest in Illinois Power Plant

Wabash Valley Power Association purchased a 5 percent participation interest in a 1,600-MW coal-powered electric plant in the Prairie State Energy Campus for $57 million.  The Campus, operational since 2012, is comprised of a power plant and an adjacent coal mine.  The deal was completed a day after Peabody Energy received final approval on a financing package that puts it on a path toward a Chapter 11 restructuring.
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Texas Coop to Offer Broadband Service through WiFi

Texas-based Bandera Electric Cooperative (Bandera) plans to run fiber cables along its power poles to feed WiFi access points, which will provide wireless internet service to its customers.  Bandera estimates that service speeds will range from 10—50 Mbps.  The service will be tested in 200 homes for approximately six months before being rolled out to Bandera’s entire customer...
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Hoosier Energy Constructing New Solar Panels in Johnson County, Indiana

Hoosier Energy, a G&T cooperative, plans to start construction within the next month on a $2.5 million solar farm on a site recently selected in Johnson County, Indiana.  Approximately 4,100 solar panels will be installed at this site, and each panel will eventually collect about 1.5 kilowatt hours of energy per day, totaling about 2 million kilowatt hours per year.  Hoosier Energy has already built three solar farms, currently has two others under construction and plans to construct another three in...
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New Mexico Coop Obtains Solar PPA

Western Farmers Electric Cooperative (WFEC) has entered into a 25-year agreement with Duke Energy Renewables (DEN) to purchase power from DEN’s 25-MW Caprock Solar Power Project near Tucumcari in Quay County, New Mexico, allowing WFEC to further diversify its generating portfolio.
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Virginia Coop’s Permitting Dispute Drags On

A Pennsylvania environmental appeals board recently denied Old Dominion Electric Cooperative’s motion for summary judgment in a permitting dispute related to a proposed gas-fired plant, citing the importance of a factual question—whether water discharged into a river after being used as coolant for the plant might end up in a local water authority’s intakes.
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Alaska Coop to Receive $8 Million from FEMA

Alaska Village Electric Cooperative (Village Electric), located in Anchorage, Alaska, will be receiving more than $8 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to repair damages from a devastating 2013 storm.  The storm produced 90 mph winds and significant flooding within Village Electric’s service territory.  The funds will be used to repair damaged lines and other equipment serving Teller, Alaska, which is situated on the Seward Peninsula, about 70 miles southeast of the Bering...
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Iowa Cooperative Raccoon Valley Becoming Carbon-Free with Purchase of Renewable Credits

Raccoon Valley, an Iowa electric cooperative, plans to purchase renewable credits from three wholesale suppliers to offset its use of carbon-based fuels and become carbon-free.  Purchasing the credits from its suppliers supports the cooperative of which it is a member and puts more renewables back in the generation mix while adding less than half a percent to Raccoon Valley’s total cost of power.
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Great River Energy and NRECA Co-Sponsor Research Regarding Underutilized Energy Storage Resources

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) and Great River Energy co-sponsored a research study that showed that residential electric water heaters can serve as energy storage for wind or solar power, increasing efficiency, better integrating renewable energy and saving customers money.  The large capacity water heaters can be enabled to make immediate use of wind or solar power to heat the water and then be shut down when renewables are scarce and wholesale costs are...
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Cooperative Chosen to Build Walkemeyer Project

The Southwest Power Pool Board of Directors has selected Mid-Kansas Cooperative to be the transmission owner responsible for building the new “Walkemeyer” line, a 22.6-mile, 115 kV line from Walkemeyer to North Liberal.
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Tri-State Electric Breaks Ground on Research Center

Tri-State Electric has just broken ground on the Wyoming Integrated Test Center.  The Center is an industrial-scale lab that will research methods that could be used to remove carbon emissions from coal-fired plants and convert them into a revenue-producing resource.  Products made from waste carbon emissions could include chemicals, fuels, building materials and graphene.
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Texas Coop to Host Distributed Community Solar

Renewable Energy Systems Distributed has entered into an agreement with Pedernales Electric Cooperative (PEC) to construct the Pedernales Electric Community Solar Project.  This solar project will be comprised of PV projects at 15 sites owned by coop members, and each site will host up to 998 kw of solar PV.  PEC will purchase the output from each project under long-term contracts, and this electricity will then be sold to PEC’s members through PEC’s community solar program. Construction on these projects is expected to be completed by the end of...
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AEPCO CEO Testifies in Support of Great Rate-Setting Transparency

Arizona Electric Power Cooperative (AEPCO) CEO Patrick Ledger testified in support of a bill that would require federal power administrations to detail costs on wholesale electric bills.  Ledger said after his testimony that AEPCO is fine with justified cost increases but does not have enough information to see what’s included in the bill and how costs are distributed between conservation costs and transmission and administration...
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Minnkota Enters Into 35-Year Wind Power Purchase Agreement

In an effort toward compliance with anticipated federal regulations, Minnkota Power Cooperative (Minnkota) will purchase wind energy from NextEra Energy Resources 100 megawatt wind farm addition when the project begins operation in early 2017, at which point nearly 35 percent of Minnkota’s electric generation capacity will come from wind.
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