Sheyenne Valley Electric


Recognizing the need to extend central station electric power to the rural areas of the United States, Congress passed legislation known as the Rural Electrification Act of 1936.  Because of the large investment required to bring electrical service to the sparsely populated rural areas, cost of service to subscribers would have been prohibitive, so relatively little progress was made.

Several years later Congress passed legislation known as the "Pace Act", which provided for low cost financing to any entity that would provide electrical service to anyone within the area upon their request. Ills legislation made possible the formation of cooperatives to construct their own electrical systems.

During and in the years immediately following World War 11, material for construction of facilities was not available; however, interest in central station power for rural areas was active.  A group of nine farmers from the Cooperstown, Finley, and Tolna area were chosen to lay the groundwork for the present cooperative.

Sheyenne Valley Electric Cooperative was incorporated under the laws of North Dakota on September 16, 1944.  The first Board of Directors were: John Oxton, Jr., Joseph Finell, L.B. Tweed, A.J. Pare, E.D. Beckman, Alfred Retzlaff, C.B. Herigstad, Oscar Idsvoog, and Abel Vig.  By the end of 1947 financing had been obtained from REA and two hundred and fifty-nine members were receiving central station power.

Construction continued until most of Griggs, Steele, and Nelson and portions of Eddy, Benson, Ramsey, Grand Forks, and Traill counties are now served by the Cooperative.  Currently the Cooperative provides service to 2710 members.

Average monthly kilowatt-hour usage per farm has increased from 100 kilowatt-hours in 1947 to 1518 kilowatt-hours in 1980.  The average cost per kilowatt-hour has decreased from 6.6¢ in 1947 to 3.3¢ in 1980.

Sheyenne Valley is one of twelve distribution cooperative receiving wholesale power from Minnkota Power Cooperative of Grand Forks, North Dakota.  This has proven to be a reliable source of power with some of the lowest cost wholesale power in the nation.

Source: Cooperstown, North Dakota 1882-1982 Centennial Page 222

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