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Minnesota Governor Vetoes Bill on Electric Cooperative Disputes

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton vetoed a bill that would have removed the Minnesota Public Utility Commission’s authority to settle certain electric utility disputes between cooperatives and coop customers, including billing disputes regarding customer installation of renewable energy sources.  The bill was passed by the state senate last week and, if approved, would have vested...

Maine’s Swan’s Island Electric Cooperative to Dissolve

Swan’s Island Electric Cooperative members voted 265-29 in favor of dissolving one of the country’s smallest electric cooperatives.  The vote to sell their local utility to Emera Maine could close as early as March 31, 2017 and will effectively save the members $20 per month on their electricity bills but will sacrifice four full-time jobs and eight part-time jobs in a community...

Minnesota Governor to Review Bill on Electric Cooperative Disputes

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton is set to review a bill that would remove authority from the Minnesota Public Utility Commission in handling complaints from electricity customers and give such authority to a third-party mediator.  Supporters of the legislation feel the cooperatives should have to go to St. Paul to defend its practices as the cooperatives boards are locally elected by...

Swan’s Island Makes another Attempt to Merge with Emera Maine

After Maine regulators denied Swan’s Island Electric Coop (Swan’s Island) to merge with Emera Maine (Emera) because the merger would have put a disproportionate burden on Emera’s mainland customers, Swan’s Island has submitted a new merger proposal putting more of the financial burden of the merger on the island utility customers.  Regulators are schedule to review the revised...

NRECA Calls for Trump Administration Focus on Rural Issues

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) was joined by 40 organizations in a letter to President Trump urging the new administration to focus on issues affecting rural families and businesses by designating a senior member of the White House staff as a rural advisor and/or creating a specific office within the administration with a direct focus on rural...

Kentucky PSC Approves Big Rivers Expansion

Big Rivers Electric Corp. (Big Rivers) has entered into an agreement with Kentucky Municipal Energy Agency to sell power to nine new cities.  The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) recently approved the deal which will help Big Rivers utilize excess generating...

EPA Submits Proposed Model Trading Rules Regarding Clean Power Plan

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) submitted model trading rules that provide an optional path for states implementing the Clean Power Plan (CPP) to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget for review.  Although the CPP has been placed on hold by the U.S. Supreme Court, the EPA noted that sending the rules to the office follows a routine rule-development...

USDA Announces $3.6 Billion in Funding for 82 Electric Projects

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced Wednesday that the USDA will provide $3.6 billion in loans to electric utilities in 31 states to fund 82 projects.  The loans, which will be provided through the Electric Program and the Rural Utilities Service, include $216 million for smart grid technologies, $35 million for renewable energy, $26 million for environmental...

NRECA, MISO and SPP File Briefs in FERC Refund Proceedings

NRECA filed its initial briefs in FERC’s Section 206 proceedings involving the refund obligations of nonpublic utilities in MISO and SPP (FERC Dockets EL16-91 and EL16-99).  In its briefs, NRECA recognized FERC’s legitimate concerns but argued, among other things, that a refund requirement has the potential to deter nonpublic utilities from joining RTOs.  MISO and SPP also filed...

Dairyland Awarded $73.5 Million Settlement from Department of Energy for Storing Uranium

CORRECTION:  Dairyland Power Cooperative (“Dairyland”) will receive $73.5 million for the U.S. government’s failure to take spent fuel from its shuttered Genoa nuclear power plant to the Yucca Mountain repository in Nevada.  As part of the settlement, Dairyland was able to negotiate significant savings on future liabilities.  Dairyland’s board will determine how the money...

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