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NRECA Urges Congress to Pass $10 Billion in Low-Income Energy Aid

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) and six other energy groups wrote a letter to leaders of the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and related agencies urging Congress to approve an additional $10 billion in emergency assistance to low-income Americans struggling to pay their electric bills during the...

Year-End Spending Package Excludes Key COVID Relief Provision

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association expressed dismay at Congress failing to include a waiver of the pre-payment penalty for coops refinancing RUS debt in its year-end spending package. Despite this, the spending package does contain several key energy provision supported by electric coops.

Basin Electric Cooperative Sees Challenging Year in 2020; Load Returning

Paul Sukut, General Manager of Basin Electric Power Cooperative, said that while 2020 has been a challenging year, the pre-COVID-19 load is slowly returning. To further that growth, Basin is working on finding new sources of power that are low-carbon or no carbon emissions, including solar power and wind turbines.

Pandemic Likely to Continue Affecting Electricity Demand

According to a recent CoBank report, demand for electricity is not expected to rebound to pre-COVID-19 levels until at least 2022. While the drop in commercial demand has been somewhat offset by residential demand due to stay-at-home orders, there are signs this sector will also weaken. This may result in utilities taking cost-saving measures, such as coal-fired plants retiring at a...

COVID-19 Relief Funds to Expand Internet in Mississippi

The Mississippi Public Utilities Staff awarded $66 million of federal CARES Act funds to rural electric cooperatives to expand high-speed internet connectivity in the state. Mississippi has long lagged behind the nation in internet coverage and speeds. The grant recipients have agreed to install a combined 2,765 new miles of fiber for internet by the end of the year, and another 1,980...

Virginia Coop Partners with Utility and Broadband Company to Improve Internet Service to Rural Residents

Northern Neck Electric Cooperative is partnering with All Points Broadband and Dominion Energy to bring fiber-optic internet service to rural Virginia residents. As more and more human interactions are taking place virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic, fast internet service is needed now more than ever. If the project is approved by the State Corporation Commission, construction...

Kansas Cooperatives Helped by PPP

Six Kansas electric cooperatives recently applied for and received up to $20 million in loans as part of the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a $2 trillion economic stimulus package passed by Congress in late March to help small businesses keep their workforces employed during the coronavirus pandemic.

Oregon Trail Electric Coop Launches 360-Degree Virtual Tours

With a lack of tourism hurting local businesses, Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative has launched a series of 360-degree video and virtual reality experiences to attract post-pandemic business investment, new residents, and tourists to eastern Oregon. The immersive experiences, which have been shown to cause the same brain activity in the viewer as if he or she were really in a new...

Pennsylvania Coop Helps Build Drive-In Movie Theater

A Pennsylvania electric coop, Bedford Rural Electric Cooperative, has helped one of its communities build a drive-in movie theater in an effort to salvage a summer tourism season that has been disrupted by COVID-19.

Arizona Coops Help Fund COVID-19 Tests

As Arizona deals with one of the nation’s largest spikes in COVID-19 cases, electric cooperatives, including Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative, are working with public and private agencies to sponsor free coronavirus tests for people in their service areas.

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