New study predicts 20-year growth period for electricity in western North Dakota

 Jun 03 2019
North Dakota will need significantly more power generation in the next 20 years as electricity consumption is projected to increase by up to 70 percent, driven largely by continued expansion of oil and gas activity in western North Dakota, according to a new Power Forecast 19 (PF19) completed by Barr Engineering.

The expanded activity will include more drilling rigs, pipelines, refineries and other related facilities needed to produce and move oil and gas to markets. Population growth needed to staff those activities and associated services was also considered in The new forecast was reviewed by North Dakota Industrial Commission (NDIC) members at their regular meeting today. The NDIC consists of Gov. Doug Burgum as chairman, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem and Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring.

"The purpose of this study is to estimate future electrical consumption primarily within the oil-producing counties, and also to support utilities as they develop plans that include generation sources that best match the types of loads and capacity factors involved in the production and transportation of oil and natural gas,” Commission members said in a joint statement.

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