Eversheds Sutherland Coop Law Blog
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Blue Ridge Electric Erects Structures to Enhance Dove Fields

Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative recently donated equipment, staff and poles to put up two segments of non-active power lines at Tall Pines Wildlife Management Area dove fields in Greenville County, South Carolina. The lines give doves additional habitat and a place to roost where they can rest and keep their eyes on birds of prey. The lines also give wildlife biologists an easy way to keep track of how many doves are using the fields.
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Harris Praises Electric Cooperative’s Rural Broadband Leadership

Vice President Harris recently praised the work of electric cooperatives in delivering affordable broadband internet access to rural areas, comparing it to the electrification efforts in the 1930s. The Biden administration has proposed a $100 billion investment in rural broadband.
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NRECA Reacts to Biden’s Commitment to Rural Communities

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) announced it was encouraged to hear President Biden prioritize the needs of rural America in his address to Congress. Specifically appreciated was his emphasis on the need to modernize rural infrastructure and expand rural broadband access.
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Senators Introduce Bill to Protect Electric Grid

Senators Murkowski, Manchin, Risch, King and Rosen have introduced the Protecting Resources on the Electric Grid with Cybersecurity Technology (PROTECT) Act. The Act seeks to enhance electric grid security by incentivizing cybersecurity investment.
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Iowa Cooperative Announces Plans for Solar Farm

Central Iowa Power Cooperative has announced plans for a huge solar farm in eastern Iowa. The project will deliver 100 megawatts of power starting in 2022.
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NRECA Reacts to Biden Infrastructure Plan

As the Treasury Department writes rules to govern the funds to be dispersed to state and local governments under the American Rescue Plan, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) is resisting efforts by some large telecommunications companies to place restrictions that it argues would harm regions without adequate broadband access. The Plan includes $219 billion for states and $130 billion for local governments that can be used for broadband, and another $10 billion for new capital projects.
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Georgia EMC Partners to Expand Broadband

Washington EMC, a Georgia electric cooperative, will form a new partnership with Conexon Connect to provide high-speed fiber internet to more than 12,000 homes and businesses in 10 middle Georgia counties. Georgia’s Governor Brian Kemp was on site in Washington County, Georgia to make the announcement.
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Electric Coop Leaders Convene Virtual Fly-ins

More than 1,500 electric cooperative CEOs and other coop representatives will take coop priorities to Capitol Hill April 19-23 for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s (NRECA) Legislative Conference and congressional visits. The conference and meetings with lawmakers will be conducted virtually. Coop leaders will highlight three priorities during the congressional visits: (1) refinancing Rural Utilities Service loans, (2) rural broadband, and (3) comparable tax credits for energy innovation.
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Vermont Electric Cooperative Pledges To Be Carbon-free by 2023

Vermont Electric Cooperative, Vermont’s largest member-owned electric utility, has pledged to move to a 100% carbon-free power supply by 2023. The electric cooperative said the carbon-free decision was made by the board of directors to reflect customer demand for clean energy and to meet state goals to fight climate change. The coop serves about 32,000 members in 75 communities in northern Vermont.
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NRECA Expresses Concerns Regarding Expected Timing for Notices of Defaults in the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Auction

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) made a request on April 1 to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) urging the FCC to publicly announce defaults by winning bidders in the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Auction (RDOF), so that unserved rural communities can pursue other public broadband resources. Without timely public notices of such defaults, rural areas no longer covered by the RDOF may be ineligible for other existing and forthcoming federal, state and local rural broadband programs.
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Colorado Coop’s Empower Program Helps Make Energy Efficiency Affordable

An electric cooperative in Colorado is bundling its energy-efficiency programs and many of its consumer services under a single brand and making them available to those working or living near its service territory. Specifically, San Isabel Electric Association’s Empower Program aims to identify qualified contractors and suppliers of proven products and helps find ways to finance improvements and upgrades for its members and others who live and work in southern Colorado.
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New York Cooperative Enters into Purchase Agreement

Tri-County Rural Electric Cooperative (Tri-County) entered into an asset purchase agreement to acquire the Waverly, NY electric distribution assets of Pennsylvania Electric Co. (Penelec). Tri-County intends to add Penelec’s customers in Waverly to its cooperative membership upon completion of the acquisition.
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NRECA Reacts to Biden Infrastructure Plan

In a statement released Wednesday, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) announced it was encouraged to see electric coop priorities reflected in President Biden’s infrastructure proposal. Select provisions that will benefit coops and their customer-members are $100 billion to update the nation’s energy grid and expand existing transmission infrastructure, and $15 billion for energy demonstration projects, including utility-scale battery storage, carbon capture and storage, and advanced nuclear energy.
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Cobb EMC Announces 2030 Clean Energy Goals

Over the last decade, Cobb EMC has been investing in smart, renewable energy technology for its members and is on schedule to attain its clean energy goals by 2030. The installation of rooftop solar panels on campus, the completion of a Solar Flower Garden, the activation of battery storage, and additional utility-scale solar later this year are all keeping Cobb EMC’s sustainability goals on track.
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