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United Power to Build Colorado’s Largest Battery Storage Facility

United Power, a Touchstone Energy cooperative, has announced plans to build its first commercial-scale energy storage project. At 4 MW, the battery storage system will be the largest in Colorado. The facility is to be developed in collaboration with Chicago-based SoCore Energy, a solar photovoltaic and energy storage developer that focuses on serving rural electric cooperatives. SoCore...

Coops Offer Geothermal Programs

Several coops are offering programs and rebates to install geothermal systems designed to lower demand. The cooperative works with geothermal companies and developers to put in a loop system, and owns, maintains and repairs the loop system.

USDA Awards Its First Loans under the Rural Energy Savings Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that it will provide two rural energy providers, South Carolina’s KW Savings Co. and Ohio’s Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council, with $13 million and $1 million loans, respectively, under the Rural Energy Savings Program. Seven rural electric cooperatives are the intended recipients of KW Savings Co.’s loan...

WEC Installs Fourth Electric Vehicle Charging Station

Washington Electric Cooperative (WEC) installed its fourth electric vehicle (EV) charging station on December 9, 2016. This project was aided by a $147,000 grant from the Vermont Low-Income Trust for Energy. This EV charging station is strategically located at Harwood Union High School in Duxbury, Vermont. By helping to develop an infrastructure that makes EV usage more practical, the...

Connexus Energy Awards Smart-Grid Contract to Honeywell

Connexus Energy of Minnesota (Connexus) has awarded a smart-grid contract worth $15 million to Honeywell.  The project will provide Connexus members with remote electricity reading.  The project will require replacement of approximately 138,000 electric meters with Honeywell’s new “EnergyAxis” meters equipped with its “SynergyNet” mesh networking software.  The new meters will transmit...

USDA Announces $3.6 Billion in Funding for 82 Electric Projects

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced Wednesday that the USDA will provide $3.6 billion in loans to electric utilities in 31 states to fund 82 projects.  The loans, which will be provided through the Electric Program and the Rural Utilities Service, include $216 million for smart grid technologies, $35 million for renewable energy, $26 million for environmental...

D.C. Circuit Hears Challenge to Clean Power Plan

Ten D.C. Circuit judges heard argument regarding the EPA’s authority to enact the Clean Power Plan and the rule’s constitutionality.  All active judges on the D.C. Circuit, with the exception of Merrick Garland, heard arguments from state government, power industry groups, the federal government and environmental...

Dairyland Power Begins Construction of New Solar Project

Dairyland Power Cooperative (Dairyland Power) recently broke ground on what will become one of Wisconsin’s largest solar projects.  The project, which is located in Medford, Wisconsin, will generate approximately 2.5 MW of electricity—enough to power around 450 homes.  Once completed, it will include an array of 2,992 solar panels covering 11 acres of land.  The project is one of many...

Cooperatives Financing Efficiency Upgrades through Opt-in Tariffs

Smaller, rural cooperatives have been experimenting with a model that gets around a customer’s inability or unwillingness to take on debt or invest in energy efficiency upgrades through offering a voluntary on-bill tariff.  Cooperatives have been able to lead this innovation because shareholder interests and customer interests are aligned.  Put simply, the customer chooses the upgrades...

Cooperative Invests in Smart Lighting Product Company

CMA Ventures, a subsidiary of Central Iowa Power Cooperative, has participated in a Series B investment round in Igor, a Des Moines startup which has developed a “power-over-ethernet” product that can be used to help companies better manage lighting and electricity in their...

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