Eversheds Sutherland Coop Law Blog
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Defense Bill Could Benefit Electric Cooperatives

The House and Senate recently passed two different versions of a defense bill, both of which contain potential benefits for electric cooperatives. Specifically, the House passed a $733 billion defense bill that could allow electric cooperatives that serve military bases to benefit from new infrastructure grants. The Senate recently approved a different version of the legislation that makes it easier for cooperatives to get federal approval for carbon capture, utilization and sequestration projects. A compromise will be worked out by the House and Senate to determine which provisions are...
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Coop Leader Testifies Regarding Inaccurate FCC Broadband Data

Dan Stelpflug, Director of Operations, Engineering and Technology for Allamakee Clayton Electric Cooperative (Allamakee Clayton) in Postville, Iowa, recently testified to Congress regarding faulty Federal Communications Commission (FCC) broadband data provided in connection with a federal grant awarded to the coop. Specifically, the FCC awarded Allamakee Clayton a $1.4 million broadband grant in 2014 based on agency data that indicated the coop could reach 665 potential customers with broadband service. However, Allamakee Clayton was ultimately only able to find 510 potential customers, 23%...
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Texas Cooperatives Agree to Purchase Solar Energy

In an effort to provide an increased supply of clean energy to their members, five Texas electric distribution cooperatives—Bartlett Electric Cooperative, Comanche Electric Cooperative, Heart of Texas Electric Cooperative, PenTex Energy and South Plains Electric Cooperative—have agreed to purchase 7 MWdc of distribution-scale solar generation. The solar arrays are scheduled to begin operation by June 2020.
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NRECA Anticipates ACE Will Promote Flexibility and Certainty

According to a statement by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) CEO Jim Matheson, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule will provide flexibility and certainty while addressing carbon emissions from existing power sources.
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Vermont Electric Cooperative Aims to Cut Gas Lawnmowers Short

Vermont Electric Cooperative just added a new bill credit to its VEC Energy Transformation Program. The new initiative will provide customers purchasing electric lawnmowers with either a $50 or $1,000 bill credit for residential and commercial mowers, respectively.
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Alaska Coop Announces New Battery Energy Storage System

Cordova Electric Cooperative, an Alaskan electric cooperative, unveiled a new 500 kW battery energy storage system. Energy leaders and from Washington, D.C. and Alaska celebrated the new system with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on June 9, 2019.
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FCC Commits Nearly $37M in Funding for Broadband in Virginia

Central Virginia Services, a subsidiary of Central Virginia Electric Cooperative, is one of the five companies to receive approximately $37 million in funding from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for broadband in Virginia.
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Alabama and North Carolina Laws Authorize Coops to Provide Broadband

The governors of Alabama and North Carolina have signed new laws that authorize electric coops to deploy retail broadband, pursue federal funds available for the task and allow coops to use their existing easements and infrastructure to deploy the service.
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Two Coops Receive Funding from FCC for Broadband

Two coops–Co-Mo Electric Cooperative and Callaway Electric Cooperative–will receive more than $24 million each from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to expand broadband in central Missouri.
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Colorado Coop Makes Lofty Renewable Energy Commitment

Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association (PVREA) recently announced its “80 by 30” plan. The plan aims to have the cooperative run on 80% carbon-free energy by 2030. PVREA’s goal will include exploration of advancing technology like battery storage and grid management, as well as planned expansion of local renewable energy generation.
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Texas Legislature Clarifies Coops May Own and Operate Batteries Without Registration

The Texas Governor has signed a new law clarifying that electric cooperatives and municipal utilities in the state may own and operate batteries without registering with the Public Utility Commission as power generation companies.
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USDA Announces Continued Investments in Rural Electric Systems

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced yesterday that it will provide $858 million in funding for rural electric systems to improve infrastructure and invest in smart grid technology. Major recipients include the Carroll Electric Cooperative in Berryville, AR and the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority. The loans result in part from the recommendations of the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural...
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NRECA Praises House Bill Lowering Coop Pension Premiums

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) came out last week in support of the House of Representatives passing a bill to reduce premiums that coops pay to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation for defined benefit pension plans.  NRECA CEO Jim Matheson noted that the reduced premiums are in line with coops’ low-risk profile and will help coops continue to attract talent and provide for retirees.
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Dairyland Expands Wind Portfolio with Avangrid PPA

Dairyland Power Cooperative (Dairyland) and Avangrid Renewables, LLC (Avangrid) have entered a new power purchase agreement (PPA) for renewable energy produced by the Tatanka Ridge Wind Farm. The 52 MW of power should support around 16,000 of Dairyland’s members, and the broader wind project is expected to generate upwards of $1.7 million dollars in local economic benefits annually.
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