Eversheds Sutherland Coop Law Blog
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NRECA Urges Congress to Include Aid for Coops in CARES Act

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), in a letter to congressional leaders, requested that aid for electric coops be included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
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Electric Cooperatives Adjust Due to Coronavirus Pandemic

As Americans reduce direct contact with one another to slow the spread of the coronavirus, generation and transmission cooperatives are working to keep electricity flowing to homes, businesses and institutions. For example, Great River Energy is giving the majority of its administrative staff the option of working remotely and has reduced staffing in its facilities to essential minimum levels to help prevent the threat of coronavirus exposure. Dairyland Power Cooperative has instructed staff to forgo face-to-face meetings in favor of phone calls, emails or...
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Congress Passes Legislation to Improve Broadband Mapping

The Broadband Deployment and Technological Availability Act passed Congress and is expected to be signed by President Trump. The bill requires the Federal Communications Commission to collect more detailed data from broadband providers. The bill will allow coops better information about broadband service in rural communities, addressing a common understanding that current data is insufficient.
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ODEC to Develop 15 New Solar Installations

Old Dominion Electric Cooperative (ODEC) recently agreed to an expansion of its partnership with EDF Renewables to develop 15 solar projects in Virginia, Maryland and Delaware. The projects will generate more than 60 MW of power for Old Dominion’s members.
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Illinois Coop Uses VR Technology

Jo-Carroll Energy, an Illinois cooperative, is now using virtual reality (VR) technology to allow its employees to virtually access substations 25 to 70 miles away from its headquarters. Specifically, engineers at Jo-Carroll Energy and its power suppliers, Dairyland Power Cooperative and Prairie Power, Inc., can now virtually access highly-detailed, accurate scans of 18 of the coop’s 34 substations without leaving their offices.
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USDA Announces $900 Million Investment in Rural Infrastructure

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a $900 million investment to build and improve rural electric infrastructure across 16 states through its Electric Loan Program. The investment will result in new or improved electric line of over 2,700 miles. One of the largest recipients, East Kentucky Power Cooperative, will receive $347 million to improve power generation and system reliability.
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IRS Issues Guidance on Section 45Q, Carbon Capture and Sequestration Credits

On February 19, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued two pieces of long-anticipated guidance on Section 45Q, Carbon Capture and Sequestration credits.  In this Bottom Line videocast, Susan Lafferty and Amish Shah discuss: • Section 45Q Carbon Capture and Sequestration credit • Beginning of Construction Guidance—Notice 2020-12 • Partnership Allocation Guidance—Revenue Procedure 2020-12 • Expected future...
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Basin Electric and Geronimo Energy Announce Solar PPA

Basin Electric and Geronimo Energy announced the execution of a power purchase agreement (PPA) for the Wild Springs Solar Project. This project is a 128 MW solar project located in South Dakota, and is expected to begin operations in 2022.
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FCC Chairman Looks at Michigan’s Rural Broadband

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai visited Michigan to get a firsthand look at Midwest Energy & Communications’ (MEC) broadband initiative. Pai’s trip preceded the vote on the rules for the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF), a $20.4 billion reverse auction aimed at bringing high-speed internet to the country’s unserved communities. Pai heralded MEC’s initiative, funded by a precursor to RDOF, as highly successful and thinks RDOF will help further address the challenges presented by rural...
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PSCW Grants Approval for 149 MW Solar Facility

The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) recently granted approval for Ranger Power’s Badger State Solar facility, with the entire 149 MW renewable energy output to be purchased by Dairyland Power Cooperative. Badger State Solar will bring hundreds of construction jobs to the area and will ultimately generate enough renewable energy to power over 20,000 homes. Construction of Badger State Solar will begin in 2021 with commercial operation commencing in...
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CEO of Oregon Coop Warns of Impact of Federal Government Delays on Wildfire Risk

Dave Markham, President and CEO of Central Electric Cooperative, Inc., an electric cooperative in Redmond, Oregon, testified before two subcommittees of the House Energy and Commerce Committee regarding how delays in federal action have affected the wildfire mitigation efforts of electric cooperatives located near federal lands.
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Minnesota Coops Participate in Indoor Food Production Research Initiative

Todd-Wadena Electric Cooperative (“TWEC”), a distribution electric cooperative in Minnesota, and Great River Energy, TWEC’s generation and transmission electric cooperative in Minnesota, are each collaborating with the Electricity Power Research Institute on a two-year study to provide valuable data on the electric load requirements for indoor food production containers. As part of this study, TWEC is providing electricity to a shipping container designed to produce sustainable crops for distribution within TWEC’s service...
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USDA Accepting Second Round ReConnect Applications

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will begin accepting applications for the second round of the USDA ReConnect Program beginning on Friday, January 31. This round, which will total $550 million, will continue toward the goal of partnering with the private sector to improve broadband to rural communities.
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Coop Leaders Meet with FCC to Discuss Broadband

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released draft ground rules for obtaining funding from the Rural Development Opportunity Fund, an auction that will allocate a total of $20.4 billion to support the development of broadband networks in rural America. Coop leaders, including BARC CEO Mike Keyser and National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) CEO Jim Matheson, took action to meet with the FCC, pressing to adopt rules that will maximize the impact of allocated funding to help bridge the digital...
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