Eversheds Sutherland Coop Law Blog
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Ohio Coop Launches Community Solar Program

Firelands Electric Cooperative recently launched a community solar program that will provide residential members with the option to purchase renewable energy produced by the coop’s new 152-panel solar array. There is no equipment for members to install, and all maintenance costs are included in the subscription rate. Energy produced through the program will cost participating members just 1.5 cents more per kilowatt hour than the standard residential...
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Colorado Utility Company Will Install Large Battery Storage Project

Xcel Energy-Colorado, the state’s largest electric utility, will add 275 MW of battery storage by 2022. The move highlights the potential that improved electric storage technology holds for electric utilities across a variety of generation resources.
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Legal Alert: Patronage Capital Update

Retirement of patronage capital remains a heavily litigated topic. While federal court cases generally have ruled in favor of electric cooperatives, state court cases are somewhat divided. This update reports on a federal court of appeals decision and two recent state court opinions reaching different conclusions about a board’s authority and obligations with respect to patronage capital. Cooperatives facing patronage capital claims should consider whether they can remove the case to federal court under the federal officer removal statute. How a court interprets relevant statutory language...
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Iowa Cooperative Helps Fund Hospital Expansion

Chariton Valley Electric Cooperative (CVEC), an Iowa electric cooperative, has partnered with Northeast Power to provide a $4,687,000 loan to Monroe County Hospital for the expansion of the hospital. CVEC secured funds for the loan from the USDA Rural Development.
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Minnesota Coop Offers Customer Choice of Wind Power

The city of Eden Prairie, Minnesota is encouraging residents to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by electing to power their homes through renewable energy. The Renewable Energy Challenge, running through October 31, allows users to convert to a green fuel source for a small monthly fee. The participating programs are Xcel Energy’s Windsource and Minnesota Valley Electric Cooperative’s...
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NRECA Participates in Cybersecurity Briefing

Jeff Baumgartner, senior adviser at the Department of Energy’s Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response (CESER), addressed a congressional staff briefing on Capitol Hill.  The briefing was organized by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), the American Public Power Association and the Edison Electric Institute to kick off National Cyber Security Awareness Month. A panel of cybersecurity experts emphasized the importance of the federal government working with utilities and the value of sharing...
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FEMA Approves Grant for Repairs of Utility Infrastructure

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently approved a $1,743,876 grant to Vermont Electric Cooperative for the repair of 54 transformers and 2,887 miles of transmission and distribution electric conductor line poles damaged by severe storm and flooding in October 2017. This grant is funded through FEMA’s Public Assistance Program which provides grant reimbursement to communities for expenses incurred in the immediate response to, and recovery from, a...
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NRECA RC3 Program Helps Coops Address Cybersecurity

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s (NRECA) Rural Cooperative Cybersecurity Capabilities Program (RC3), which is currently in its third year of funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, helps coops with cybersecurity by providing tools, training and resources tailored to the unique needs of coops. Since the program started in 2016, RC3 has provided cybersecurity training to more than 200 leaders at 36 coops, has held cybersecurity summits around the country, and has begun writing a series of cybersecurity guidebooks for...
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Electric Industry and Government Work Together to Enhance Grid Cybersecurity

For years, electric utilities have worked closely with government security experts to share emerging threat data and information on vulnerabilities to thwart cyberattacks. The Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council (ESCC), the main liaison between the electric industry and the federal government, aims to coordinate efforts to prepare for or respond to major disasters or threats to critical infrastructure such as cyberattacks. Duane Highley, the president and CEO of the Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation and Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc., serves as a co-chair of the...
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ACE Rule the ‘Best Path Forward’ for Electric Cooperatives

On October 1, 2018, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) CEO Jim Matheson testified in support of the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule. “The proposed ACE rule provides crucial flexibility so electric coops can respond to market conditions, technologies and industry changes at the same time they continue to contribute to the vitality and prosperity of the communities they serve,” said Matheson. NRECA will file detailed comments on the ACE proposal at the end of the...
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NRECA Joins Coalition to Comment on Endangered Species Act Regulations

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) joined the ESA Cross-Industry Coalition to submit comments in response to the three proposals from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service to amend their Endangered Species Act regulations.
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Cooperative Energy Signs Solar PPA

Cooperative Energy, a Mississippi electric cooperative, has signed a 100 MW solar power purchase agreement (PPA) with Renewable Energy Systems (RES). RES will sell the power from its Delta’s Edge project, a 652-acre solar facility.
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NWEC Receives $8 Million Loan for Infrastructure Improvements

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced that North Western Electric Cooperative (NWEC) will receive an $8 million federal loan to build and improve power lines in northwest Ohio. NWEC will use the loan to build 20 miles of new line and improve 40 miles of existing line, which is expected to bring 140 additional consumers to a system which currently serves more than 6,000 rural customers.
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NRECA Identifies Top Priorities for Farm Bill

The House and Senate each passed versions of the Farm Bill earlier this summer and are seeking to reach a compromise on the legislation in the fall. The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) is urging lawmakers on the Farm Bill conference committee, tasked with coming up with the final version of the bill, to consider priorities of electric cooperatives.
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