Eversheds Sutherland Coop Law Blog
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Arizona Coop Considers Sale of Natural Gas Division

Graham County Electric Coop will move forward with the potential sale of its natural gas division upon the affirmative two-thirds vote of its members on October 17th. The division has not made any money since 1989, is projected to lose $291,000 this year, and is $2.625 million in debt. Southwest Gas has expressed an interest in purchasing the division.
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Colorado Coop Helps Community Build Microgrid

Poudre Valley REA is working with the Red Feather Lakes community to install a microgrid, which will be a 140-kilowatt/448-kilowatt-hour battery with 3.2 hours of energy storage interconnected with generation resources.
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Indiana Awards Grants to Electric Coops to Build Broadband

Through the Next Level Connections Broadband Grant Program, Indiana is awarding $36 million in state broadband grants to eight electric cooperatives to connect unserved areas.
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Pedernales Electric Cooperative Energizes New Battery Storage System

Pedernales Electric Cooperative (PEC) has installed and energized a new battery storage system, making it the first cooperative in Texas to utilize battery storage. The battery storage system can hold a total of 2.25 MWs of electricity for two hours and are charged by PEC’s Johnson City solar installation.
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USDA Investment to Upgrade Arkansas Power Grid

US Sen. John Boozman and US Rep. Bruce Westerman recently announced that US Department of Agriculture (USDA) funds will go toward modernizing a power grid by installing fiber-optic cable to supply a secure high-speed communications path to nearly 60,000 Arkansas Valley Electric Cooperative customers. Specifically, a $151 million investment through the Department’s Electric Infrastructure Loan Program will help Arkansans in 10 counties: Crawford, Franklin, Johnson, Logan, Madison, Newton, Pope, Scott, Sebastian and Yell.
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Pee Dee Electric and Marlboro Electric Announce Strategic Partnership

Pee Dee Electric Cooperative and Marlboro Electric Cooperative, neighboring cooperatives in South Carolina, have announced that they will enter into a management agreement, effective September 18, 2020.
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Central Iowa Power Cooperative Signs PPA for 54-MW Wind Project

Independent power producer RPM Access LLC has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) to supply electricity from a 54-MW wind park in Iowa to Central Iowa Power Cooperative.
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Oregon Wildfires Devastate Coop-Served Communities

Wildfires fueled by strong winds are ravaging western Oregon, destroying small towns served by electric cooperatives, forcing people to flee their homes, and spurring four coops to turn off power at night to avoid sparking new blazes. Ted Case, executive director of the Oregon Rural Electric Cooperative Association in Wilsonville said the wildfires have hit four of the state’s 18 coops hardest: Consumers Power Inc. in Philomath, Lane Electric Cooperative in Eugene, Blachly-Lane Electric Cooperative in Junction City and West Oregon Electric Cooperative in Vernonia.
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Indiana Electric Cooperatives Receive $36 Million in Broadband Grants

Seven Indiana electric coops will receive just over $36 million in grants from the Next Level Connections Broadband Grant Program, which is designed to strengthen broadband infrastructure investment in unserved areas of the state. A recent report estimated a return of nearly $4 to the local economy for every dollar spent on the necessary broadband infrastructure.
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FERC Affirms Exclusive Jurisdiction over Tri-State Generation and Transmission Rates and Exit Charges

Last week, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) affirmed its exclusive jurisdiction over Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association’s rates and member exit charges, and further reaffirmed that Tri-State’s addition of new members was lawful under the Federal Power Act. The decision preempts Colorado Public Utilities Commission jurisdiction on these matters.
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Roanoke Electric Program Fights Systemic Discrimination Against African American Landowners

Roanoke Electric Cooperative’s Sustainable Forestry and Land Retention Project provides education and access to technical assistance as well as capital and estate planning services to African American landowners in order to transform unprofitable family farms and forests into economic assets and keep valuable land within families. The program was created to  combat discriminatory practices and decades of decline in African American farm ownership.
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House Bill Would Give Coops Tax Credits to Help Pay Retirement Costs

NRECA is supporting a bipartisan House bill that would give electric cooperatives a temporary tax credit to help keep their retirement plans funded during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Preserving Employee Retirement Savings Act would provide a two-year tax credit for up to 20% of the retirement costs paid by coops and other small businesses experiencing hardships because of the pandemic. The credit would be refundable, so even a tax-exempt coop that pays no federal taxes would be eligible to receive as much as $100,000 in 2020 and 2021.
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NRECA Supports Bipartisan Legislation Giving Electric Cooperatives Tax Credit for Retirement Funds

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) supports The Preserving Employee Retirement Savings Act, introduced by Reps. Brad Schneider, D-Ill., and Mike Kelly, R-Pa., which would grant electric cooperatives a two-year tax credit for up to 20% of their retirement fund costs. The tax credit could generate as much as $100,000 in 2020 and 2021 for each eligible electric cooperative.
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Grundy Electric Cooperative and Missouri Department of Conservation Partner for Wildlife Projects

Grundy Electric Cooperative is partnering with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) on a project to benefit wildlife habitat and reduce power line right-of-way maintenance costs. Missouri’s rural electric cooperatives must keep trees out of distribution lines that carry electricity from substations to homes and businesses. Under the voluntary Wires Over Wildlife program, landowners with distribution lines crossing or bordering their property will be able to request that right-of-way vegetation be converted to wildlife-friendly habitat. Native wildflowers and grasses add beauty, and...
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