Eversheds Sutherland Coop Law Blog
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EPA Announces Repeal of Clean Power Plan

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced his intention to roll back the Clean Power Plan. Several environmental groups and states plan to challenge the proposed repeal in federal court.
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Missouri Judge Vacates $130 Million Sho-Me Power Jury Verdict

A federal judge in Missouri has vacated a $130 million jury verdict against Sho-Me Power Electric Cooperative. The plaintiffs in the case claimed that Sho-Me Power violated electric easements by using a fiber optic cable for commercial telecommunications purposes.
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CoBank Report: Electric Cooperatives Increasingly Bringing Broadband to Rural Communities

People living in rural communities are four times more likely to lack access to broadband than those in urban communities. Rural electric cooperatives, some of which were formed nearly 80 years ago to bring electricity to rural America, are increasingly making the move into broadband to fill the supply gap. Many coops have found that building out a broadband network using their existing infrastructure, either on their own or through a partnership with established telecommunications providers, is an efficient way to help manage a modern, connected electrical grid as well as a productive way...
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Solar Panels Installed at Mississippi Solar Facilities

Cooperative Energy and Origis Energy USA announced the first installation of solar panels at a 540-acre solar site in Mississippi. When completed, this facility will encompass approximately 200,000 photovoltaic solar panels.
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GridLiance Completes Purchase of Valley Electric Association’s High Voltage Transmission System

GridLiance Holdco, L.P. (GridLiance) has completed an acquisition of Valley Electric Association, Inc.’s (VEA) 230kV transmission system and entered into an ongoing partnership with VEA for the operation and maintenance of the transmission system. The acquisition consists of approximately 160 miles of transmission lines and related substation equipment.
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Drones Help Coops Restore Power After Harvey

Multiple cooperatives used drones to locate problems in hard-to-reach areas after Hurricane Harvey. Pedernales Electric Cooperative relied on its drone team to fly 60 missions and inspect more than 1,600 poles after the storm.
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Electric Cooperative to Provide Clean Energy to Coop Members

Central Virginia Electric Cooperative (CVEC), a member-owned electric distribution cooperative serving over 36,000 meters in 14 Virginia counties, and Coronal Energy, powered by Panasonic, a leading independent power producer and provider of turnkey renewable energy solutions, are developing two 5 MWac solar electric generating facilities along the Interstate 64 corridor in Virginia. The 41-acre, 5 MWac Palmer Solar Center in Troy and the 35-acre, 5 MWac Martin Solar Center in Kents Store will integrate solar-generated electricity into the power grid for the benefit of over 9,000 CVEC member...
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Bandera Electric Awarded Project in Liberia

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association has awarded Bandera Electric Cooperative a contract to construct a solar-plus-storage microgrid for a community in Liberia, which will benefit around 400 homes and businesses. The project will include approximately 220 solar panels and 90kWh of lithium-ion battery energy storage, alongside diesel backup generation.
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Coop to Provide Power for Proposed Copper Mine

Pursuant to an agreement reached with NorthWestern Energy, which has been approved by the Montana Public Service Commission, Fergus Electric Cooperative will provide power to the proposed Black Butte Copper Project located near White Sulphur Springs, Montana.
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Rural Cooperatives Shift Toward Cleaner Power Generation Mix

Low gas prices, the federal production tax credit and state renewables mandates are leading to a cleaner power generation mix for rural cooperatives. Specifically, wind power, natural gas and related technology innovation are dominating growth of cooperatives’ energy generation. According to the American Wind Energy Association, electric cooperatives added more than 900 MW of new wind capacity in 2016. In order to create room for these new generation resources, coops shuttered or converted 700 MW of coal between 2014 and 2016 and are estimated to shutter or convert an additional 1,344 MW by...
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NRECA Assists Electric Cooperatives with Cybersecurity

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) has worked collaboratively with electric cooperatives to develop guidelines for the prevention and mitigation of cybersecurity threats.
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Nation’s Largest Low‐Income Community Solar Project Being Developed by Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association, GRID Alternatives and Colorado Energy Office Partner

The Colorado Energy Office (CEO), GRID Alternatives and Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association (PVREA) are partnering to develop a 1.95 MW community solar project, known as the Coyote Ridge Community Solar Farm, that will lower the electric bills of qualified low‐income residents, affordable housing providers and nonprofit organizations in the utility’s service territory. The PVREA project will be the seventh project installed to date under a statewide initiative to demonstrate how the low‐income community solar model can be optimized to reduce energy costs for utilities’ highest need...
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Environmentalists Urge D.C. Circuit to Decide Clean Power Plan Case

This past Thursday, August 3, 2017, certain environmental groups urged the D.C. Circuit to either decide the validity of the Clean Power Plan on its merits or terminate the case by remanding the case to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The environmental groups’ request stems from the D.C. Circuit’s decision in April to grant the EPA’s motion for a 60-day stay of the litigation to review and potentially withdraw the rule. However, the regulatory agenda of the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs classifies the proposed rule as a “long-term...
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Vermont Coop Incentivizes Its Members to Purchase Electric Vehicles

Vermont Electric Cooperative and Green Mountain Power partnered with Nissan to offer a $10,000 rebate on electric vehicle purchases.
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