Eversheds Sutherland Coop Law Blog
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Majority of House Members Co-sponsor RURAL Act

A majority of the members of the House of Representatives are co-sponsoring the RURAL Act, which is a bill addressing electric cooperatives’ tax-exempt status.
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House Lawmakers Co-sponsor Bill to Solve Unintended Tax Consequence Problem

A bipartisan majority in the U.S. House of Representatives recently co-sponsored legislation to fix an unintended consequence for electric cooperatives from the 2017 federal tax law changes. Under the current federal tax laws that were adopted in 2017, coops that receive federal, state or local government grants are at risk of losing their tax-exempt status. The RURAL Act aims to revert this unintended tax impact on electric...
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USDA Invests in Rural Electric Infrastructure

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that it will invest $251 million to upgrade rural electric systems in 13 states. The investment includes funding to finance smart grid technologies that improve system operations and monitor grid security, as well as funding to help build and improve 1,971 miles of line to improve electric reliability in rural areas.
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Coop CEO Advocates to Expand Rural Broadband by Passing RURAL Act

Tim Johnson, CEO of Otsego Electric Cooperative, recently testified before a congressional committee with respect to coops’ tax-exempt status under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Johnson advocated that Congress fix the federal tax code so that not-for-profit cooperatives would no longer lose their tax-exempt status by taking federal, state or local grants to bring broadband service to rural residents. Johnson also urged lawmakers to pass the RURAL Act, a bipartisan bill that would allow coops to once again accept government grants without risking their tax...
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North Carolina Cooperatives Invest $1 Million in Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

North Carolina’s electric cooperatives are investing $1 million to expand electric vehicle charging stations throughout the state. The cooperatives’ investment is being provided through North Carolina Electric Membership Corp., the state’s generation and transmission cooperative. The funding will be used to install 21 charging stations by the end of this year.
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Broadband Interest Continues to Broaden in Mississippi Coops

North East Mississippi Electric Power Association plans to offer high-speed fiber optic service to all of its customers in five counties. Directors have approved the effort, and members will vote on the issue in December. The expansion marks at least the fifth Mississippi coop planning broadband service.
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Arkansas Cooperative Part of Team Launching Solar + Storage Facility

Ozarks Electric Cooperative, together with the City of Fayetteville, Arkansas and Today’s Power Inc., launched a new solar and energy storage facility last week. The facility boasts 10 MW of solar capacity and 24 MWh of battery storage. The project expects to save the city $180,000 per year and aid the city’s pursuit of clean energy goals.
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Project Tundra Awarded $9.8 Million for Research and Development

The U.S. Department of Energy announced that it will provide $9.8 million for Front-End Engineering and Design work for Project Tundra and the Energy and Environmental Research Center at the University of North Dakota to continue leading the Plains Carbon Dioxide Reduction Partnership. Project Tundra seeks to build a carbon-capture unit at Minnkota Power Cooperative’s existing Milton R. Young Station near Center, North...
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NRECA Voices Support for Repeal of Waters of the U.S. Rule

National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) CEO Jim Matheson issued a statement regarding the repeal of the Waters of the U.S. rule. Matheson praised the repeal for creating clarity in a patchwork regulatory environment and for its benefits for electric cooperatives building and maintaining key infrastructure.
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Cooperatives Decide to Join Southwest Power Pool Market

Basin Electric Power Cooperative and Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association announced their decision to join Southwest Power Pool’s (SPP) Western Energy Imbalance Service (WEIS) market. When SPP launches the WEIS in February 2021, it will become the market administrator for these and potentially other electric utilities in the west.
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Mississippi Coops Approve Retail Broadband Plans

The boards of four Mississippi coops have approved plans for the coops to enter the retail broadband space following Mississippi’s enactment of the Mississippi Broadband Enabling Act.
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Coops Among Top Utilities for Adding Solar and Energy Storage

Five electric cooperatives won Top 10 utilities awards from the Smart Electric Power Alliance for adding the most solar or energy storage to the grid in 2018.
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Coops Awarded $181 Million for Metering and Line Upgrades

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded loans totaling $181 million to 11 coops and one solar farm that serve a total of 214,000 rural residents and businesses in 10 states.
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Coop Halfway to Solar Goal

Kit Carson Electric Cooperative has broken ground on three solar energy farms which will provide 6 MWs of capacity by the end of the year. The projects will bring Kit Carson’s solar portfolio to 16 MW, halfway to meeting its goal of 100% daytime solar energy by 2022.
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