Eversheds Sutherland Coop Law Blog
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Colorado Cooperative Strikes Deal Spurring 100-MW Wind Farm Development

Holy Cross Energy, a Colorado-based nonprofit rural electrical cooperative, recently entered a two-way power purchase agreement with Guzman Energy allowing for the development of a 100-MW wind farm. The agreement will allow Holy Cross Energy to reach almost 70% renewable energy consumption in 2021 once the wind farm comes online.
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Dairyland Power Cooperative Seeks Approval for Natural Gas Plant

Dairyland Power Cooperative is seeking approval from Wisconsin Public Service Commission to build a jointly owned natural gas power plant in Superior, Wisconsin. If approved, the 625 MW plant would go online in late 2024.
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Electric Cooperative Policy Priorities in 2019

As the new Congress gets under way, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) will be advocating on many public policy issues on behalf of electric cooperatives. Specifically, NRECA plans to (1) work to ensure that any infrastructure package will include opportunities to modernize the electric grid and expand rural broadband access, (2) encourage bipartisan support for energy research and development programs, (3) work to protect electric cooperative employee retirement benefits, and (4) advocate for resources and technologies that meet the unique cybersecurity and recovery...
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United Power Cooperative Storage System Comes Online

United Power Cooperative has unveiled the largest battery storage system in Colorado. The battery stores 4 megawatts, and United Power anticipates it will save customers $1 million per year.
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Walton EMC Contracts with New Solar Projects for Facebook Data Center

Walton Electric Membership Corporation (Walton EMC) has entered into contracts with two solar developers for three new solar projects as part of its agreement to supply 100 percent renewable energy for Facebook’s data center in Newton County, Georgia. Facebook chose Walton EMC as the power supplier for the data center when it announced the facility in...
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Brazos Electric to Purchase More Power from Texas Solar Project

7X Energy, Inc. announced additional procurement of solar energy by Brazos Electric Power Cooperative, Inc. (Brazos Electric) from the Lapetus Energy Project, taking the project from 25 MW to 67.5 MW. The Brazos purchase agreement represents the largest solar energy contract to date with an electric cooperative in Texas.
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FEMA Awards $1.28 Million for Hurricane Harvey Repairs

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), through its Public Assistance Program, granted $1.28 million to Texas coop Jackson Electric Cooperative to repair damage caused by Hurricane Harvey.
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Inadvertent Tax Bill Language Could Jeopardize Exempt Status for Coops

Coops that accept any government grants may find their tax-exempt status at risk. To be considered tax exempt, electric coops are limited to a 15 percent threshold of non-member income. As written, the 2017 tax law counts money received from any government grant as non-member income, where previously, most such grants were considered contributions to capital.
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NRECA Seeks Reduction in Insurance Premiums on Coop Retirement Plans

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) is pushing hard in the remaining weeks of Congress this year to bring down pension insurance costs for electric coops. “Because of the strength of our network, electric coop retirement plans pose little risk of default. Yet we are required to pay insurance premiums as if we are a high-risk venture,” said NRECA CEO Jim Matheson. “When we overpay these premium costs, we take money away from our core mission as coops—member benefits and...
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Juhl Energy Developing Solar-Wind Hybrid Project for Cooperative

Juhl Energy is developing a 2.0 MW solar-wind hybrid power generation project to provide low-cost, locally generated energy to the Lake Region Electric Cooperative of Pelican Rapids, Minnesota. “This unique renewable energy project will provide a tremendous amount of value to the local community. The cost savings from purchasing the hybrid project’s energy will help provide rate stability, benefiting all of our coop members,” stated Tim Thompson, CEO of Lake Region Electric...
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Texas Electric Cooperative to Receive $50 Million Loan

Congressman Vicente Gonzalez recently announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded a loan of $50,000,000 to San Miguel Electric Cooperative (San Miguel). This loan will allow San Miguel to make certain system improvements for a lignite-fired steam electric generating unit.
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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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