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East River Electric Cooperative Wins Summary Judgment on Wholesale Power Contract Buy-Out Dispute

U.S. District Judge Larry Piersol granted East River Electric Cooperative’s (East River) motion for summary judgment in a suit initiated by Dakota Energy Cooperative (Dakota Energy). Dakota Energy requested that it be able to terminate its wholesale power contract with East River and pay a buy-out fee. Judge Piersol ruled that the contract did not provide for early termination and that...

Rayburn Country Electric Cooperative Is First Texas Utility to Securitize ERCOT Bill From Winter Storm Uri

Rayburn Country Electric Cooperative, Inc. is the first Texas utility to securitize its debt from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) stemming for 2021 Winter Storm Uri. This option prevents Rayburn from facing potential bankruptcy and preserving its right to sue ERCOT for the extraordinary energy prices last February in the midst of devastating cold temperatures that...

Golden Spread Electric Cooperative Sues Insurer Over Winter Storm Uri Lawsuit Coverage

Golden Spread Electric Cooperative Inc., a Texas power generation cooperative, filed suit against its insurer, Hartford Underwriter Insurance Co., alleging, amongst other things, that the insurer wrongfully denied coverage of a lawsuit filed by customers claiming bodily injury and property damaged caused by power outages during Winter Storm Uri. Golden Spread is seeking declaratory...

Minnesota Court Affirms Natural Gas Power Plant

The Minnesota Court of Appeals affirmed the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission’s 2019 approval of the Nemadji Trail Energy Center, a project developed by Dairyland Power Cooperative and Minnesota Power.

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...

Oklahoma Court Confirms Big Businesses Must Stick with Electric Cooperative

A large industrial Oklahoma cooperative customer brought suit seeking to add a well powered by Northwestern Electric Cooperative to an energy supply it receives from an investor-owned utility as a cost-saving measure. An Oklahoma Court confirmed the order of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission keeping the cooperative as the power provider.

Legal Alert: Patronage Capital Update

Retirement of patronage capital remains a heavily litigated topic. While federal court cases generally have ruled in favor of electric cooperatives, state court cases are somewhat divided. This update reports on a federal court of appeals decision and two recent state court opinions reaching different conclusions about a board’s authority and obligations with respect to patronage...

FERC Confirms UEC’s Authority to Build Transmission Line

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) recently ordered Umatilla Electric Cooperative (UEC) to provide wholesale transmission service to a certain wind energy project, rejecting a protest by Columbia Basin Electric Cooperative that the action would encroach on its exclusive service territory. The proposed wind farm, located near Heppner, Oregon, would include up to 292...

Missouri Judge Vacates $130 Million Sho-Me Power Jury Verdict

A federal judge in Missouri has vacated a $130 million jury verdict against Sho-Me Power Electric Cooperative. The plaintiffs in the case claimed that Sho-Me Power violated electric easements by using a fiber optic cable for commercial telecommunications purposes.

Environmentalists Urge D.C. Circuit to Decide Clean Power Plan Case

This past Thursday, August 3, 2017, certain environmental groups urged the D.C. Circuit to either decide the validity of the Clean Power Plan on its merits or terminate the case by remanding the case to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The environmental groups’ request stems from the D.C. Circuit’s decision in April to grant the EPA’s motion for a 60-day stay of the...

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