Roughrider Electric holds meeting in Dickinson; expects expansionDue to higher production costs and investments in the growing business community of southwest North Dakota, consumers may see an increase in energy price in upcoming years said managers of Roughrider Electric Cooperative Inc. reported during an annual meeting Wednesday at Trinity High School in Dickinson.
By: Sean M. Soehren, The Dickinson Press
Due to higher production costs and investments in the growing business community of southwest North Dakota, consumers may see an increase in energy price in upcoming years, said managers of Roughrider Electric Cooperative Inc. during an annual meeting Wednesday at Trinity High School in Dickinson.
After the meeting, Roughrider co-manager Clayton Hoffman said that consumers may see an increase between one and two percent.
“The power cost forecast indicates significant increases over the next three years,” Hoffman said. “Overall, we expect costs to consumers to be minimal and we will remain among the lowest, as far as rates, in the nation.”
The expected rate will be somewhere between seven and eight cents per kilowatt hour for residential areas, Hoffman said.
The biggest problem was the increase in cost of materials to construct generation and transmission facilities like copper, aluminum and steel which rose in price by more than 200 percent in the past two years, Hoffman said.
Basin Electric charges Roughrider and Roughrider charges consumers according to the prices they receive from Basin, Board of Directors secretary Roger Kudrna said.
Co-manager Donald Franklund said the company expects to see more growth in the communities which will increase the electrical need load. Roughrider will need to make investments to accommodate, Franklund said.
“The financial forecast for the next five years expects a 10 percent increase per year,” he said.
The co-op will be working on major projects like a natural gas processing plant being built near Belfield for Whiting Petroleum, a substation north of Dickinson and installation of 23 miles of overhead power lines in the area. However, more projects are likely on the horizon, Franklund said.
“Every day it seems we are contacted to service another well site or another business,” he said.
The co-op was busy throughout 2010. Two ice storms caused $5.5 million to restore power; however consumers would only have to pay $817,000 because a majority of the cost was paid by the Federal Emergency Management Agency or state programs.
Thirty miles of power lines were installed to accommodate more than 250 new members in 2010 and year-end sales were 2.3 percent greater than they were in 2009.
Dickinson area resident Jake Frank said he has gotten power from Roughrider and its predecessors for 50 years. He said the increase can be expected, but it will help in the future.
“I think it is a good thing,” he said. “They will be able to get more power out, which will be a benefit to the community.”