Eversheds Sutherland Coop Law Blog
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Arkansas Cooperatives Developing Broadband

Six electric cooperatives in Arkansas are bringing high-speed broadband internet access to thousands of their members and plan to offer it to all of their members within the next four to six years.
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USDA Announces Investments to Improve Rural Electric Infrastructure

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced that it is investing $1.6 billion in 46 rural electric utility infrastructure projects across the country. These investments will help contribute to a stronger rural electric system by improving operations and reliability in 24 states. This funding will help build or improve 5,833 miles of line, will include $307 million in smart grid technologies, and will ultimately benefit 7 million rural business and residential electric consumers across the United...
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Coop Announces Investment in Natural Gas Generating Station

Central Iowa Power Cooperative has announced an $85 million investment to repower a natural gas-fired generating station in Creston. The project is expected to be completed by late 2022.
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Coop Enters Into Long-Term Solar PPA

Continental Divide Electric Cooperative (CDEC) has entered into a long-term solar power purchase agreement (PPA) for the offtake of a solar facility to be constructed within CDEC’s territory.
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NRECA Files Comments in Support of EPA Proposed Coal Plant Emissions Rule

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) and other lobbying groups representing electric utilities recently filed comments in support of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule, endorsing looser pollution standards for coal-fired power plant generators. The EPA hopes to finalize the ACE rule by March 2019.
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New Solar Projects Announced for Clay County, Georgia

Green Power EMC, the renewable energy supplier for 38 Georgia electric membership corporations, is partnering with Silicon Ranch Corporation to develop solar projects in Clay County, Georgia that will generate more than 100 megawatts of solar energy.
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Iowa Coop Installing Batteries in Homes

MiEnergy Cooperative has started installing smart battery storage systems in the homes of its members as a way to test batteries as a tool for energy management. MiEnergy is one of four cooperatives that have commissioned a battery storage system as part of a pilot program sponsored by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.
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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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