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Electric Coop Leaders Convene Virtual Fly-ins

More than 1,500 electric cooperative CEOs and other coop representatives will take coop priorities to Capitol Hill April 19-23 for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s (NRECA) Legislative Conference and congressional visits. The conference and meetings with lawmakers will be conducted virtually. Coop leaders will highlight three priorities during the congressional...

Colorado Coop’s Empower Program Helps Make Energy Efficiency Affordable

An electric cooperative in Colorado is bundling its energy-efficiency programs and many of its consumer services under a single brand and making them available to those working or living near its service territory. Specifically, San Isabel Electric Association’s Empower Program aims to identify qualified contractors and suppliers of proven products and helps find ways to finance...

RUS Loan Repricing Bill Reintroduced

A bipartisan group of legislators reintroduced the Flexible Financing for Rural America Act this week. The law would permit electric coops to reprice loans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) at current rates without prepayment penalties, potentially resulting in savings of $10 billion for about 500 coops.

Brazos Electric Power Cooperative, Inc. Files for Bankruptcy

Brazos Electric Power Cooperative, Inc. (Brazos) recently filed bankruptcy in federal court in Houston, citing a disputed $1.8 billion bill from the state’s grid operator, Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). Brazos is one of dozens of electricity providers in Texas facing enormous charges stemming from severe cold snap last month. Unusually frigid temperatures knocked out...

Iowa Coop Receives REDLG Loan to Assist Local Business Expansion

Pella Cooperative Electric Association, an Iowa electric cooperative, and Co-Line Welding, Inc. successfully secured a $1 million loan through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) program to assist with a $6,675,000 building expansion for Co-Line, a metal fabrication and manufacturing business and a member of Pella...

USDA Approves $3.1 Billion in Loans to Coops

As part of its latest round of Electric Loan Program awards, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved $3.1 billion in rural infrastructure loans for 45 electric cooperatives. The loans will go to projects in 25 states to upgrade or build transmission and distribution lines and to develop smart grid technology and digital communications to help detect and respond to...

Congressmen Introduce Bill to Support Electric Cooperatives

Congressman Neal Dunn, M.D. (Florida-02) and Congressman Darren Soto (Florida-09) introduced the FEMA Loan Interest Payment Relief Act (H.R. 8701) requiring the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to reimburse local governments and electric cooperatives for interest incurred on loans used to restore essential functions after natural disasters. The interest paid on emergency...

Several Cooperative Agricultural and Rural Infrastructure Banks Ranked World’s Safest for 2020

Several cooperative agricultural and rural infrastructure banks, including CoBank, made the Global Finance World’s 50 Safest Banks annual ranking for 2020. The rankings have long been recognized as a trusted standard for individuals and investors to gauge the financial safety of banks.

Trump Administration Invests $371 Million to Improve Rural Electric Infrastructure in 11 States

The Trump Administration recently announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $371 million to build and improve critical electric infrastructure that will benefit more than 222,000 rural residents and commercial customers in 11 states. Specifically, this funding will help build and improve 3,741 miles of line to improve electric reliability and...

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.

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