Eversheds Sutherland Coop Law Blog
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San Miguel Power Association Assessing Microgrids to Increase Resilience

San Miguel Power Association (SMPA) is developing community-scale microgrids for remote Colorado towns in the San Juan Mountains, aiming to enhance resilience against blizzards and avalanches. Last winter, Silverton faced a severe “snowpocalypse” leaving residents without electricity until SMPA lineworkers managed a quick restoration, prompting the co-op to pursue microgrids for reliable, community-wide emergency power backup. With grants secured and plans in progress, these microgrids promise warmth, device charging, and improved resilience for towns like Ophir, Rico, and...
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John C. Lee Jr. Appointed as President and CEO of Old Dominion Electric Cooperative

John C. Lee Jr. has been appointed as the new president and CEO of Old Dominion Electric Cooperative (ODEC) following a nationwide search. Lee, who had been serving as ODEC’s interim president and CEO since September 2023, previously held CEO positions at Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative and EMPOWER Broadband. ODEC’s board of directors expressed confidence in Lee’s leadership to address challenges and maintain the cooperative’s legacy of service to its members, serving 1.5 million consumers in Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware.
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Sunflower Electric Power Corporation to Build Kansas’s Largest Commercial Solar Facility

Sunflower Electric Power Corporation is collaborating on a 150-megawatt solar energy project near its Dodge City facility, slated for operation in the first half of 2026. This project, named the Boot Hill Solar Project, will be Sunflower’s largest solar facility, providing on-peak renewable energy to its members in western Kansas. The project is supported by Victory Electric Cooperative Assn., Inc., and will be constructed in collaboration with Alluvial Power, generating approximately 400,000 megawatt hours annually.
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Dairyland to Construct New Long-Range Transmission

Dairyland Power Cooperative announced plans to build a 354 kV transmission line from Blair to Alma. The work is part of a 150-mile long-range transmission project in southern Minnesota.
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Alabama Cooperatives Receive Grants to Build Broadband

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs will administer $188 million in grants to expand high-speed internet in the state. Beneficiaries include Central Alabama Electric Cooperative, Cullman Electric Cooperative, Joe Wheeler Electric Membership Corp., and Tombigbee Electric Cooperative.
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Flathead Electric Cooperative Concerned Over Removal of Dams

Officials from Flathead Electric Cooperative, the second largest electricity provider in Montana, warn of an energy crisis if the Biden administration proceeds with plans to remove four dams on the lower Snake River. The co-op contends that this could increase electricity rates, as the dams contribute around 1,004 megawatts each year to the region. The proposal to remove the dams is part of negotiations addressing tribal treaty rights to a viable salmon fishery, but local officials and lawmakers express concerns about the economic impact and transparency of the plan.
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Biden Administration to Provide $1.5 Billion for Palisades Nuclear Restart

In February, the Biden administration is expected to announce $1.5 billion in funding for the Palisades nuclear project. The funding from the Biden administration is part of the government’s $6 billion Civil Nuclear Credit Program announced in 2021.
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NRECA Urges Expansion of Broadband Equity Access and Deployment Program

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association urged congress to increase minimum requirements for uplink standards to empower electric cooperatives to compete with larger ISPs for BEAD grants. At least 200 of the 900 electric cooperatives are providing some form of broadband service to members, and cooperatives are among the fastest growing set of broadband providers.
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NRECA Backs the Distribution Transformer Efficiency and Supply Chain Reliability Act of 2024

NRECA is supporting the Distribution Transformer Efficiency and Supply Chain Reliability Act of 2024, a bipartisan Senate bill that would require all distribution transformer cores to be made with amorphous steel by as early as 2027, increasing efficiencies and reducing wait times for electric cooperatives to receive the transformers. The current average wait time for a distribution transformer is two years, double the wait time prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Kentucky Lawmakers Form Caucus to Advocate for Electric Cooperative Consumers

Kentucky lawmakers have formed a bipartisan caucus to advocate for the interests of electric cooperative consumers.
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NRECA Part of Coalition Encouraging Congress to Provide Electrical Grid Funding

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is part of a coalition of energy, manufacturing, and homebuilding groups encouraging the Senate to include $1.2 billion in funding for distribution transformers and other electric grid components in its energy and water spending bill.
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Dairyland Power Cooperative, Minnesota Power, and Basin Electric Cooperative Receive Second RUS Approval for Nemadji Trail Energy Center Project

U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) has again issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the Nemadji Trail Energy Center (NTEC) project, a 625-MW combined-cycle natural gas facility along with a 345-kilovolt transmission line, relocation of an existing gas pipeline, and construction of a new gas pipeline to tap an existing gas supply network, despite calls from several Indigenous tribes to deny the funding requests of Dairyland Power Cooperative, Minnesota Power, and Basin Electric Cooperative for more than three years. The Wisconsin Project is expected...
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JACKSON EMC NAMED HIGHEST IN CUSTOMER SATISFACTION

Jackson Electric Membership Corporation has been ranked highest in customer satisfaction among electric cooperatives by the J.D. Power 2023 Electric Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Study, receiving a score of 794 out of a possible 1,000.
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Maryland Cooperative Awarded Contract

Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative Inc., was recently awarded a 50-year contract for the ownership, operation and maintenance of the electric utility system at Naval Support Facility in Indian Head, Maryland. The contract is valued at an estimated $117,004,772.
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