Eversheds Sutherland Coop Law Blog
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FERC Confirms UEC’s Authority to Build Transmission Line

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) recently ordered Umatilla Electric Cooperative (UEC) to provide wholesale transmission service to a certain wind energy project, rejecting a protest by Columbia Basin Electric Cooperative that the action would encroach on its exclusive service territory. The proposed wind farm, located near Heppner, Oregon, would include up to 292 turbines and generate up to 500 megawatts of energy. The project’s developers have been working with UEC on a plan for UEC to construct a 230-kilovolt transmission line connecting the project to Bonneville Power...
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Central Virginia Electric Cooperative Announces Plan to Build Fiber Network

Central Virginia Electric Cooperative (CVEC) has announced its plan to build a fiber network in order to deliver high-speed communications throughout its electric distribution system. CVEC intends to use this fiber network to make high-speed internet service available to all of its members. The CVEC Board of Directors has approved a one-year pilot program, to begin in 2018, and hopes to complete installation of the fiber-optic cable across 4,600 miles of distribution lines within five years. The project will include a $100 million investment in new infrastructure and is expected to add 20 to...
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Formation of Virginia Rural Broadband Coalition Announced

Following an increase in rural broadband funding in Virginia’s biennial budget, advocates of rural broadband announce the formation of the Virginia Rural Broadband Coalition (VRBC). VRBC’s focus is to promote efforts to connect rural Virginian businesses, governmental organizations, and residents to the internet.
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Jay Schwarz Provides Remarks at NRECA’s CEO Close-Up Conference

Jay Schwarz, Wireline Advisor to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai, provided remarks this week at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s (NRECA) CEO Close-Up Conference. His statements focused on future partnerships between the FCC and rural electric cooperatives.
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NRECA Applauds White House Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) released a statement this week applauding the White House Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity on a recent report aimed at jumpstarting the rural American economy. The task force was created last April by President Donald Trump.
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Cooperative Energy to Build 22.7 MW Smart Power Generation Plant

Cooperative Energy has partnered with the technology group Wärtsilä to construct a 22.7 MW Smart Power Generation plant in Benndale, Mississippi. Commercial operations are expected to commence in 2019.
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New Hampshire Cooperative Seeking FEMA Reimbursement

President Trump has granted a request for a major disaster declaration in Belknap County, New Hampshire and elsewhere for an October 29, 2017 – November 1, 2017 storm that brought flooding rains and damaging winds. The declaration will free up funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to government entities and some private nonprofits for up to 75 percent of the eligible costs of approved projects. New Hampshire Electric Cooperative incurred nearly $4 million in costs to restore power after the storm, and it can seek reimbursement from FEMA for 75 percent of most of...
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Wabash Valley and Hoosier Energy Sign Wind PPA

Wabash Valley Power Association (Wabash Valley) and Hoosier Energy Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Hoosier Energy) have signed a two-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with EDP Renewables to purchase 100 percent of the wind capacity from Meadow Lake V located in northwestern Indiana. The PPA will provide 25 MW of energy in 2018 and an additional 50 MW in 2020 for Hoosier Energy, and 25 MW of energy beginning in 2018 for Wabash Valley.
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Electric Coop Completing Construction on New Hampshire’s Largest Solar Array

New Hampshire Electric Cooperative, Inc. (NHEC) is working to complete construction on a $5 million solar electric array by the end of the year. Once completed, the 2 MW system will include 7,200 panels and is expected to save NHEC members nearly $300,000 a year.
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Otero Signs Record Low Solar PPA

Otero County Electric Cooperative has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) for an in-development solar project for less than 4.5 cents per kWh. The 3 MW project is expected to come on line in 2018.
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Seminole Seeks Site Certification for Natural Gas Plant

Seminole Electric Cooperative, Inc. has filed a proposal seeking cite certification to build a 1,050 MW natural gas plant in Putnam County, Florida. The natural gas plant would replace one of two coal-fired plants currently operating at the site.
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Valley Electric Association Petitions for Expansion in Nevada

Valley Electric Association (“VEA”) has created a wholly-owned subsidiary that it hopes to use to provide wholesale electricity to commercial customers outside of its service territory. In Nevada, subject to regulatory approval, companies with a load of at least 1 megawatt can pay impact fees to obtain energy from a power provider other than NV Energy, which is the region’s primary utility company. Thus, VEA has petitioned the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada for a declaratory order that its subsidiary can sell energy to a company that has applied to leave NV Energy. Ultimately, VEA...
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Texas Electric Cooperatives Announces Alliance with Comanche Electric Cooperative

On Friday, December 1, 2017, Texas Electric Cooperatives (“TEC”) announced an alliance with Comanche Electric Cooperative that will add about 5,000 miles of line and over 16,000 meters into areas already served by TEC.  TEC’s alliance supply model is noteworthy because it reduces operational and redundant costs by leveraging the aggregation and scale that alliance partnerships make possible, which ultimately benefits each cooperative’s bottom line.  TEC represents the interests of 75 electric cooperatives with more than 3 million members throughout...
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Dairyland to Purchase Power from New Wind Farm

Construction is complete on EDP Renewables’ Quilt Block Wind Farm located in Lafayette County, Wisconsin. Dairyland Power Cooperative has entered into a twenty-year agreement to purchase power from this project, and Dairyland estimates that this wind farm can power about 25,000 homes.
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