Eversheds Sutherland Coop Law Blog
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NRECA CEO Voices Support for President Trump’s Executive Orders on Energy Infrastructure

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) CEO, Jim Matheson, recently expressed support of President Trump’s Executive Orders on Energy Infrastructure Development: “Today’s announcement paves the way for electric coops to enhance system reliability and reduce wildfire risk by improving access to maintain and upgrade electric systems located on federal lands. By reducing bureaucratic red tape, today’s announcement helps prevent permitting delays and promotes the safety and reliability of our power...
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Midwest Electric Cooperatives Launch Battery Storage Project

In an effort to learn if the use of smart batteries can reduce peak electricity demand, or provide other benefits, four Midwestern electric cooperatives are experimenting with storage technology by installing smart batteries in some members’ homes. MiEnergy Cooperative, Richland Electric Cooperative, Oakdale Electric Cooperative and Jo-Carroll Energy pooled resources and knowledge to buy the smart batteries.
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Vermont Electric Cooperative Receives Aid for Storm Damage

The Federal Emergency Management Agency will contribute more than $1.2 million to the Vermont Electric Cooperative to fund system repairs that were necessary as a result of the severe storms in May 2018. Vermont Emergency Management helped Vermont Electric to receive the aid.
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USDA Debuts New Investments in Rural Electric Infrastructure and Smart Grid Technology

On April 8, 2019, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced $485 million in investments in the rural electric system. With investment funds going to 13 states, necessary transmission lines and smart grid technology for rural cooperatives are key targets.
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Louisiana Coops Embrace the Cooperative Spirit in the Wake of Disaster

The Association of Louisiana Electric Cooperatives (ALEC) rallied behind Nebraska coops and rural areas to provide support after historic flooding. ALEC donated funds to the Nebraska Rural Electric Association, who forwarded them to the Nebraska Farm Bureau, to aid the state’s recovery after the storms.
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Congress Moves to Fix Unintended Tax Consequences for Coops

Earlier this week, Congressional leaders from both sides of the aisle introduced legislation to fix an unintended consequence of the 2017 tax law that put tax-exempt cooperatives at risk of losing that status. The new bill would roll back provisions of the 2017 tax law that counted grants for broadband development, emergency relief and other items as non-member income.
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New Hampshire Electric Coop to Receive FEMA Funds

The New Hampshire Electric Coop will receive $2.8 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as a result of costs from storms and floods. FEMA’s Public Assistance Program helps reimburse communities for action taken in response and recovery to disaster.
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FEMA to Aid System Repairs for Minnkota

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has committed $5.9 million to Minnkota Power Cooperative to help repair damaged equipment due to severe storms, tornadoes, winds and flooding that occurred last summer. FEMA noted the critical role Minnkota plays in providing power to communities and the need to support that mission.
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GRE Enters Into Wind PPA

Great River Energy (GRE) has entered into a power purchase agreement (PPA) with a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC for a new 109 megawatt wind project to be built in Lincoln County, Minnesota.
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Tennessee Provides Grant to Electric Coops for Rural Broadband Expansion

Tennessee has granted approximately $15 million in funds to telecom and electric cooperatives for an expansion of rural broadband projects in Tennessee under the Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Act. The grantees have committed to provide approximately $20 million in matching funds for a combined investment of approximately $35 million.
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Cooperative Announces Solar Energy Facility in Wisconsin

Dairyland Power Cooperative has finalized a power purchase agreement with Ranger Power to purchase the entire output of the proposed 149 megawatt Badger State Solar Project which will be located in Jefferson County, Wisconsin. If approved, construction of Badger State Solar is anticipated to begin in 2020 with commercial operation commencing in 2022. “Dairyland is excited to collaborate with Ranger Power on this sustainable solar energy facility,” said Barbara Nick, Dairyland President and CEO. “Resource diversification is foundational to Dairyland’s commitment to a sustainable,...
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Arkansas Coop Partners with Municipality to Install Solar Project and Utility-Scale Energy Storage

Ozarks Electric Cooperative and Today’s Power, Inc. are collaborating with the City of Fayetteville, Arkansas on the state’s largest solar power project to operate on municipal land and the only one in the state with onsite utility-scale energy storage.
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Bipartisan Bill Could Boost Financing for Cooperatives

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is working with a bipartisan group of lawmakers in Congress to pass legislation that would give electric cooperatives access to more money to modernize their plants and reduce costs for consumer-members. The proposed Improving Rural Access to Power Act would allow the Federal Home Loan Bank to voluntarily buy securities issued by a qualified cooperative lending association. The bill’s supporters have been trying to pass a similar measure since 2016, but their previous efforts stalled in the...
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Report Shows Electric Cooperatives Fuel Economy

Electric cooperatives have a broad financial impact on the United States, directly or indirectly supporting nearly 612,000 jobs each year and contributing hundreds of billions of dollars to the economy over a five-year period, according to a new analysis. “This report quantifies what many rural American families and businesses know well—electric cooperatives are powerful engines of economic development in their local communities,” said Jim Matheson, CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative...
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