As oil industry grows, so will electric power consumption in western North Dakota

 Aug 15 2019

Consumption of electricity in western North Dakota is expected to grow significantly over the next two decades, the director of the North Dakota Transmission Authority told a panel of lawmakers Wednesday.

A recent study commissioned by the authority, which is an arm of the state’s Industrial Commission tasked with helping facilitate transmission infrastructure, estimates demand for electricity in the Williston Basin will grow by 71% over the next 20 years.

“That kind of growth rate is basically unheard of in most of the country,” Director John Weeda said.

His comments came during a meeting of the interim Energy Development and Transmission Committee, which convened Wednesday for the first time since the Legislature adjourned this spring. Sen. Rich Wardner, R-Dickinson, who chairs the committee, said the group will study a host of topics from oil refining to natural gas flaring to solar energy.