Eversheds Sutherland Coop Law Blog
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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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Indiana Cooperative Receiving $10.5 Million Loan

Southern Indiana Power is receiving a $10.5 million federal loan to build or improve 92 miles of line to enhance system operations for 600 rural consumers. The loan also includes funds for smart grid technologies.
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Coop CEO Testifies in Support of Carbon Capture Technology Legislation

Basin Electric Power Cooperative CEO, Paul Sukut, told a Senate panel that he supports efforts to help electric cooperatives develop technology to capture carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fueled power plants and turn them into useful products.
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USDA Banks New Investments in Infrastructure and Smart Grid Technology

Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced investments in seven new projects in Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Oklahoma and South Dakota. The loans, totaling $122 million, will help build and improve electric lines and implement smart grid technologies.
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NOVEC Enters Into 300 MW Solar PPA

Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative (NOVEC) has entered into a power purchase agreement (PPA) for approximately 300 MW of electrical energy output from solar facilities owned by D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments.
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Cooperative to Provide Transmission Services for LNG Project

South Texas Electrical Cooperative (STEC) has signed a facilities agreement with Annova LNG for 405 MW, representing the total electric transmission needs for a 6.0 MTPA LNG export project. Magic Valley Electric Cooperative, a member of STEC, will be the sole provider of electric energy to power the facility.
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Mississippi Law Allows Coops to Pursue Broadband

A new Mississippi law expands a coop’s authority to pursue broadband through an affiliate that is separate from its electric service. The law will allow a coop to hang broadband fiber on its existing power poles and lease it to the affiliate. Alternatively, the affiliate can partner with an internet provider to pursue the service.
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Tri-State and EDP Renewables Announce Wind PPA

Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association (Tri-State) and EDP Renewables (EDP) have announced a 104 MW, 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA) that will enable the development and construction of the Crossing Trails Wind Farm. The wind farm, which is expected to be operational in 2020, will produce enough electricity annually to power more than 47,000 average rural Colorado...
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NRECA Welcomes New Year with Fresh Advocacy Priorities

Last week, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) CEO, Jim Matheson, outlined the organization’s new advocacy goals for 2019. Matheson set rural broadband, flexible energy and infrastructure policy, grid resilience, and beneficial regulations as areas of emphasis.
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Mississippi Allows Electric Cooperatives to Offer Internet Service

This week Mississippi passed a bill allowing electrical cooperatives in the state to offer customers high-speed internet service. The measure, seeking to better Mississippians’ access to internet service, will allow cooperatives to seek U.S. Department of Agriculture grants for extending internet service.
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