Two reports this month provide new details about the impacts of the high wholesale power costs that Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association charges electric cooperatives in Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming and Nebraska. One of the reports, “How Kit Carson Electric Engineered a Cost-Effective Coal Exit,” was published by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA . . . Another report, “Rural Energy at a Crossroads: Electric Cooperatives Trapped in System Causing High Energy Costs,” was published earlier this month by The Western Way, a nonprofit “urging Western conservative leaders to deliver efficient, pro-market solutions to environmental and conservation challenges.” Read more here.
Image Credit: Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association
Farm Bureau Calls for Quick Passage of Rural Electric Co-op Bill
Congress should swiftly approve the Revitalizing Under-developed Rural Areas and Lands (RURAL) Act (H.R. 2147, S. 1032), according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. The recently introduced legislation will ensure that electric cooperatives will not jeopardize their tax-exempt status when they accept government grants for activities like expanding broadband or restoring power after storms and disasters.
Gov. Tony Evers, D-Wis., has announced plans to join the U.S. Climate Alliance, a bipartisan coalition of governors committed to implementing the Paris climate accord on a state level.
“It’s a new day in Wisconsin, and it’s time to lead our state in a new direction where we embrace science, where we discuss the very real implications of climate change, where we work to find solutions and where we invest in renewable energy,” says Evers, who took office in January. “By joining the U.S. Climate Alliance, we will have support in demonstrating that we can take climate action while growing our economy at the same time. Read more here.
Chicago has released its new resilience strategy, Resilient Chicago, devised through a partnership with 100 Resilient Cities. The plan contains 12 goals and 50 actions the city can take to improve its resilience.
Solar Bill of Rights introduced in California, PV Magazine The legislation would enshrine a customer’s right to generate and store electricity on their own property as well as connecting to the grid without undue burden and freedom from discriminatory fees, as well as setting compensation for battery exports.
City of Buffalo seeks 32 solar power bids, PV Magazine As part of a broader program between five local schools, the City of Buffalo has submitted a request for proposals for 32 sites around the city, and project owners will then sell the electricity through 20-year power contracts with the city.
“The Pay as You Save system has been active in the power sector for nine years now, but the leaders who have been demonstrating its efficacy have been in a part of the power sector that’s little tended and not particularly well known,” said Holmes Hummel, founder of Clean Energy Works, which advocates for the use of PAYS . . . “Electric cooperatives have been by far the leaders in this innovation and the reason for that is the alignment they have between shareholder interests and customer interests,” said Hummel. “Electric co-ops are, frankly, more nimble. They’re relatively efficient organizations.” Read morehere.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) confirms that co-ops can buy unlimited power from PURPA-qualifying facilities. Distribution co-ops and municipal utilities are no longer constrained in their ability to source cost-competitive local power.
By Kevin Brehm and Joseph Goodman, Rocky Mountain Institute
The ruling has major implications for the nation’s 905 electric cooperatives and 830 municipal utilities as well as the for-profit and nonprofit generation and transmission providers that serve those co-ops . . . The FERC ruling has opened up a huge potential distributed renewable energy market. Renewable energy buyers and sellers both have a role to play in enabling this market to achieve its full potential. Click to learn more about the ruling.
The Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA), enacted November 9, 1978, is a United States Act passed as part of the Natonal Energy Act. It was meant to promote energy conservation (reduce demand) and promote greater use of domestic energy and renewable energy (increase supply). The law was created in response to the 1973 energy crisis, and one year in advance of a second energy crisis. Source: Wikipedia
Iowa co-op withdraws proposed fee for customers, by Karen Uhlenhuth Midwest Energy News
Photo By Rob Rudloff / Creative Commons
A rural electric cooperative in Iowa has backed away from a plan to impose an additional $57.50 monthly fee on customers with solar panels.
On Thursday afternoon, Pella Cooperative Electric informed the Iowa Utilities Board that it was withdrawing the tariff it filed earlier this summer.
“It kinda made my day,” said Bryce Engbers, a hog farmer living outside of Grinnell. Engbers has arrays on his house and on each of two confinement barns, and had said he’d sooner remove the arrays than pay the higher fee.