Welcoming Walle Substation

A new transmission substation south of Grand Forks is set to fortify power reliability for Nodak Electric members this year. Walle substation is one of the largest transmission substations Minnkota Power Cooperative (Nodak’s wholesale power supplier) has built to date. When fully energized in the spring of 2024, it will receive 230-kilovolt (kV) power from Minnkota’s transmission lines, step it down through a transformer and send it on its way as 69-kV electricity for Nodak’s distribution substations.

The new infrastructure is a product of a multiyear Minnkota system study. The study determined that a transmission substation near southern Grand Forks would be critical to keep electric reliability high for a quickly developing region.

“This substation will allow for additional load growth. And reliability is a big factor. The investment is worth it because this will help out in the future,” said Ryan Brorby, Minnkota substation engineering manager. “This will prevent transmission congestion, and we won’t find ourselves in a power bind.”

Many external partners came together to help support Walle substation. Nodak Electric Cooperative was heavily involved in the project, which was happening in the community it serves. The Nodak team set up a new service at the substation site to support the work of Minnkota and its contractors, and it was no simple task – they needed to bury underground line under a road to reach the site. “They were really great to work with, and they did it really quickly,” said Minnkota electrical engineer Kara Laframboise.

The City of Grand Forks also became a strong partner for Walle substation, knowing that a new transmission substation would support goals for economic development. City inspectors visiting the site commented on the remarkable quality of the site work. With so many developments happening around the city in 2023, they were pleased to have an “easy” item to check off the list.

“Everyone says, ‘A substation is getting built,’ and they get a little jumpy about that, thinking it’s going to be this ugly-looking thing,” Brorby said. “What I’ve heard around the community is that everyone was impressed and happy with how the process went.”

Continue Reading »

Ice Storm Restoration

Nodak Electric Cooperative’s line crews battled the effects of a significant ice/sleet storm that froze the region Dec. 25-27, 2023. The storm started late on Christmas, producing accumulations of ice on roads, power lines, and nearby trees – causing large-scale power outages to the Nodak system in the ensuing days.

Crews were first dispatched when calls started trickling in for members in the Blanchard, Cummings and Hope areas. The next day, outage numbers continued to climb due to wires slapping together, resulting in breakers opening. Wednesday, Dec. 27, was a challenging day for Nodak’s southern system with many broken power lines and poles reported. At the peak of the outages, a total of 2,244 members lost power, with 200 broken poles that needed to be replaced. It was at this time that Nodak requested mutual aid to help tackle the crippling effects of the ice storm.

The rain finally subsided on Thursday, Dec. 28, giving the line crews slightly improved working conditions. With the help of some very talented lineworkers from North Star Electric Cooperative, PKM Electric Cooperative and Roseau Electric Cooperative, crews got to work on both broken poles and smaller outages that Friday and significant progress was made. By 3:47 p.m. on Dec. 30, power was restored to all residential members.

Thank you to all the lineworkers who worked in less-than-ideal conditions and the employees working tirelessly to restore power to our members. And thank you, North Star Electric Cooperative, PKM Electric Cooperative, and Roseau Electric Cooperative for sharing your talented lineworkers and equipment

Continue Reading »

Nodak Distributes RDFC Grant Money To 4 Recipients

Nodak Electric Cooperative is a member of the Rural Development Finance Corporation (RDFC). As a result, communities in our service area are eligible to apply for a grant of up to $3,000 for community-based projects. RDFC is making these funds available so that more people become aware of its larger loan program that funds community-based projects and nonprofit entities with low-interest loans.

RDFC has recently granted $1,500 to McVille Park District-City of McVille to renovate the McVille softball field. Funds will be used to purchase a new backstop and install a permanent fence. New dugouts will be built and the baseball diamond will be transitioned to a softball diamond. 

A $500 grant went to the Lake Region Sportsmen’s Club located in Devils Lake. The club hosted a Youth Ringneck Pheasant Extravaganza during which they released 450 adult pheasants in areas open to public hunting, the evening prior to the state’s youth two-day pheasant season. A banquet was held for all youth hunters and a catered meal and prizes were given to every hunter.

Another $500 grant went to Lakota Elementary School District #66 to support a three-phase accessible playground project located at the elementary school. The mission of this project is to ensure that a safe and accessible playground for everyone is available in the community. Once complete, it will be the only accessible playground within the county.

The final $500 grant went to Park River WCTU Fountain Restoration, Park River. Grant funds will be used to preserve, repair and restore the Park River Women’s Christian Temperance Union Fountain, located at the city park. After the restoration and preservation is complete, the goal is to be able to have the WCTU Fountain listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

Continue Reading »

Three Director Positions Open

Nominating Committee Members Appointed

The board of directors has appointed the committee on nominations. At its meeting scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday, Feb. 19, 2024, at the Nodak headquarters building, 4000 32nd Ave. S., Grand Forks, the committee shall prepare and post a list of nominations for the director positions slated for election.

Committee members are: John Aamodt, Arvilla, 218-779-5250; Daryl Evenson, Devils Lake, 701-739 9093; Richard Hanson, Grand Forks, 701-739-0950; Shannon Johnson, Park River, 701-331-2933; Neal Klamm, Thompson, 218-779-7378; Jared Peterka, Forest River, 701- 520-2937; Glenn Rethemeier, Larimore, 218-779-3222; Paul Retzlaff, Aneta, 701-270-0181; and Linda Stromstad, Hatton, 701-335-3034.

Three Director Positions Open

Three director positions will be open at the annual meeting on April 10, 2024. The directors whose terms expire in 2024 are:

District 1 – Ryan Benson – Arvilla (incumbent seeking reelection)

District 2 – David Hagert – Grand Forks (incumbent seeking reelection)

District 3 – David Brag – Finley (incumbent seeking reelection)

Nomination By Committee

If you are interested in being nominated or would like to nominate an individual, you may contact a nominating committee member.

Nomination By Petition

Nominations may also be made by petition signed by at least 15 cooperative members. The signed petition must be received at Nodak’s headquarters by Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024, to verify nominee qualifications and allow sufficient time for voting by mail.

Continue Reading »

Resilience Of Cooperatives

To begin with, I’d like to express our thanks and appreciation to our member-owners who felt the brunt of the recent ice storm and the ensuing power outages that followed. We know power outages can be frustrating and inconvenient, but we appreciate your resilience and kindness during this difficult time. Your support made all the difference in our efforts to restore power as quickly and safely as possible. We are proud to serve such a strong and caring membership.

Our team at Nodak worked tirelessly to restore power to the affected areas, working long days in very harsh conditions. I couldn’t be more proud of the work our team performed. We are grateful for their hard work and dedication.

In addition, I wish to express my deep appreciation for the overwhelming support and assistance we received through mutual aid efforts. The collaboration between cooperatives and the selfless contributions from our neighbors played an integral role in expediting the process. Cooperation Among Cooperatives is one of the guiding principles we build our cooperative culture around; it’s one of the fundamental concepts that makes our business model the greatest way to serve our members. I’d like to express our sincere appreciation to North Star Electric Cooperative, PKM Electric Cooperative and Roseau Electric Cooperative for sending their talented line crews to assist in our restoration efforts. 

Secondly, I want to bring to your attention that Nodak has decided to close the physical location of our Hillboro outpost. As part of our ongoing efforts to streamline our operations and allocate resources more effectively to better serve our members, we made the decision to rearrange the primary service areas for our outpost line crews, as well as incorporate some contract services. This strategic decision negated the need for that warehouse. However, we want to assure you that our commitment to providing exemplary services to all our members remains unchanged. We will continue to work hard to ensure that all our members receive the reliable and affordable electric service that you have come to expect from us. We will continue to invest in advanced technologies, infrastructure improvements, and ongoing training for our personnel to ensure that our service remains not only reliable, but also responsive to your evolving needs. While the physical location in Hillsboro may be closing, our commitment to serving our members with integrity, transparency  and excellence remains steadfast.

Finally, it is with great pleasure that we extend a warm invitation to join us at our upcoming annual meeting. This event is a unique opportunity for us to come together as a cooperative community, share insights on the past year’s achievements, and discuss the exciting initiatives ahead. Your presence is crucial in shaping the future of our cooperative, and we encourage you to attend, participate in discussions, and exercise your right to have a voice in the decisions that impact our community. Join us for an informative and engaging gathering on April 10 at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks, where your ideas, input and presence will contribute to the continued success of Nodak Electric Cooperative. We look forward to seeing you there!

Continue Reading »

Around  The Co-Op

Cole Johnson

Cole Johnson, Nodak’s Engineering Manager, received recognition for completing the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s (NRECA) Management Internship Program (MIP). The MIP is a comprehensive, six week program that provides an in-depth analysis of the functions and processes of cooperative management. Congratulations, Cole!

Steve Danielson

Energy Management Coordinator Steve Danielson retired from Nodak in December of 2023 with 33 years of service.

After graduating from North Dakota State College of Science (Wahpeton) in 1990, Steve worked for a HVAC company before joining Nodak as a member services representative. With a background in HVAC, Steve was able to answer members’ questions about off-peak, load management, demand response and heating issues. There have been numerous meters installed, parts of equipment tested and outages worked during his time, but he always showed up with a smile and was ready to go the extra mile for the members he served. He was promoted to Energy Services Coordinator in 2012, a role he held until his retirement.

When asked what his favorite part of working for the cooperative was, he said, “It was interacting with so many different members. I made many friends and great memories over the years.”

Steve and his wife Sherri are enjoying retirement, much of which he plans on spending countless hours golfing, watching his family grow, pontoon rides around the lake, and grilling as much and as often as possible. There will be no replacing Steve’s friendly smile, positive attitude and his willingness to help. Thank you, Steve, for 33 fantastic years of service and enjoy your well-deserved retirement

Max Stromsodt Completes Apprenticeship Program

Max Stromsodt, of the Finley crew, earned his journeyman status following the completion of a robust apprenticeship program of the North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives (NDAREC). He was recognize during a Jan. 11 awards ceremony at the NDAREC Apprenticeship, Training and Safety Conference in Bismarck, N.D. Congrats Max!

Continue Reading »

Purpa Hearing And Board Decision

The Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) hearing was properly noticed, member participation was encouraged and ultimately the meeting was held on Oct. 3, 2023, at 9 a.m., wherein the board heard from both Nodak staff and from the members regarding whether Nodak would continue to promote its robust demand response programs and whether Nodak would continue to promote affordable and equitable electric vehicle charging options throughout its service territory. After receiving Nodak staff’s presentation, as well as written input from the membership, the Nodak Board of Directors unanimously approved its Decision Determining Adoption of PURPA Standards on Nov. 1, 2023. The Board of Directors hereby determined that it is in the best interest of the cooperative:

Demand Response Practices:

To promote the use of demand response and demand flexibility practices with its entire membership base, in that it will continue to consider its rate mechanisms for the timely recovery of the costs of promoting the same, subject to demonstration that benefits of any individual program or measure outweigh any costs.

Electric Vehicle Programs:

To promote affordable and equitable electric vehicle charging options throughout its service territory with the exception that they do not impose constraints on rate development which may not align with long-term needs of Nodak’s members or for which non-rate means for improvement or acceleration are more effective.

Continue Reading »

A Trip Of Emotional Healing

The Veterans Honor Flight of ND/MN is one of several Honor Flight programs that recognizes American veterans for their sacrifices and achievements by transporting them to Washington, D.C., to view the monuments built in their honor. This is done at no cost to the veterans and has become a beautiful tradition for those who have served.

This October’s Honor Flight trip started with a sendoff from Grand Forks International Airport as family and friends filled the terminal, cheering for the 109 veterans departing to Washington, D.C. Each veteran was accompanied by a guardian who would attend to them for the entire trip, helping them have a safe and rewarding experience.

Veterans were on the go from the time they landed until their flight home three days later. They visited the National Museum of US Army, World War II Memorial, National Archives, Navy Memorial, Air Force Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery, Korean and Vietnam memorials on the National Mall, FDR Memorial, Marine Corps War Memorial, Military Women’s Memorial and the Fort McHenry National Monument.

The trip of emotional healing surfaced strong feelings for many veterans, who never spoke about their time serving and the horrors they faced. This was their time to remember and share stories with fellow veterans of how scared they were, the bloodshed they had seen and the friends and family they lost.

The return to the Grand Forks airport was a welcome home these veterans deserved, as well as a recognition of those who served and didn’t make it home. The welcome reception included cheers from family and friends, reaching out to shake hands with each of the returning veterans and say, “Thank you.”

We would like to extend our gratitude to all veterans for their service, bravery, and sacrifices for our country – and for our freedoms.

About Veterans Honor Flight

The Veterans Honor Flight of ND/MN is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, 100% volunteer organization with a mission to celebrate America’s veterans by inviting them to share in experiencing our nation’s memorials. Veterans must apply to get on the waiting list, which currently has over 600 veterans. Top priority is given to World War II and terminally ill veterans from all wars. The Honor Flight Network has escorted 22,000 veterans annually and nearly 275,000 veterans from all services since it started in 2005. VISIT VETERANSHONORFLIGHTOFNDMN.ORG TO VOLUNTEER OR DONATE!

Photos courtesy of Russel Hons Photography

Continue Reading »

The Holidays Are A Prime Time For Scammers

The holidays are a prime time for scammers to wreak havoc at the happiest time of the year. Be diligent in knowing the scams and learning to identify and avoid them.

If you receive a suspicious call or email stating your electric service will be disconnected unless you provide a debit or credit card, hang up or avoid opening any email attachments, then contact Nodak Electric. After calling us directly to confirm we did not contact you, notify your local authorities.

If a Nodak Electric employee contacts you by phone, it is our policy to NEVER request confidential, personal financial information. When a member is asked to pay a delinquent bill, they are redirected to Nodak’s automated pay-by-phone system or asked to make a payment online using SmartHub. Chances are, anyone contacting members asking for a payment is not employed or authorized by the cooperative.

A member should never be surprised by a pending disconnection of electric service. Members will receive their regular bill showing a past due amount and a delinquent notice sent via the U.S. mail. Members also receive a phone call from Nodak Electric notifying them of a pending disconnection of service.

Have a happy and safe holiday season!

Continue Reading »

Pride Of Dakota Hosts Showcase

The 2023 Pride of Dakota Holiday Showcase was held recently at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks, N.D. The showcase drew in over 200 vendors for the two-day event offering North Dakota-made products.

Pride of Dakota was created in 1985 by former Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Jones who asked a small group of North Dakota businesses and the Department of Agriculture’s marketing staff to develop an identifiable state brand that would designate products as “made in North Dakota.”

Pride of Dakota was officially launched the same year with a roster of about 20 companies. Today, more than 500 member companies – ranging in size from large companies with more than 100 employees to “mom-and-pop” operations – participate in the program. Members include food and beverage companies, manufacturers, publishers, artisans, gift manufacturers and service providers.

Pride of Dakota hosts showcases for manufacturers and service providers. Associate members, such as commodity groups, government agencies, educational institutions and retailers, also support the program. Pride of Dakota’s goal is to provide local business owners the business development resources and marketing opportunities they need to be successful.

Source: prideofdakota.nd.gov

Continue Reading »

The 2023 HollyDazzle: Festival of Lights

The 2023 HollyDazzle event took place on Sunday, Nov. 19. Nodak Electric took part in the holiday fun by participating in the parade and socializing with many community members.

The HollyDazzle event featured all sorts of activities in the form of fireworks, hot chocolate, ornament making, cookie decorating, horsedrawn wagon rides, sing-alongs and a parade, just to name a few. It’s a great community event that gets Grand Forks and East Grand Forks residents together for a night of holiday cheer.

Continue Reading »

New Year, Same Focus On Providing Affordable And Reliable Energy

Ringing in a new year sparks a sense of renewed hope and optimism about the future. As the president and CEO of Nodak Electric Cooperative, for me, it’s a time to reflect on where we are and where we’re going. At the heart of this reflection, I think about ways we can better serve you, the members of the cooperative.

Our team at Nodak is always looking ahead, exploring ways to innovate and utilize new technologies to improve our services. As our nation increasingly relies on electricity to power the economy, keeping the lights on has never been more important. We’re committed to powering – and empowering – our community at a cost local families and businesses can afford.

So how are we working to ensure reliable and affordable power while adapting to a changing energy landscape and our community’s evolving needs?

One critical component of reliable power is the mix of energy resources used to generate the electricity that keeps the lights on across Nodak’s service area. You may not realize it, but Nodak doesn’t generate electricity. Instead, we purchase it from our energy provider, Minnkota Power Cooperative, and from there, we distribute it to homes and businesses throughout our community. Our current energy resource mix is made up of 34% wind, 7% hydro and 57% coal, with the final 2% coming from various small sources.

We’re increasingly using more electricity generated from renewable energy sources, but we still depend on a diverse energy mix to ensure reliable power that’s available to our members whenever they need it. You’ve heard me say it before, but the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine all the time, so we need the dependable and stalwart coal to power your homes and businesses.

In addition to managing a reliable energy mix, Nodak is using technology to enhance our local distribution system, limit service disruptions and improve outage response times.

Advanced metering infrastructure, also known as AMI, enables two-way communication between the co-op and consumers. In the event of a power outage, AMI helps pinpoint the location of the outage and can even analyze damaged or tampered meters. AMI helps save money with near real-time data, and ultimately improves power reliability for our entire membership.

Proactive tree trimming is another way we limit service disruptions. Scheduled trimming keeps overhead power lines clear from overgrown limbs that are likely to fall. Inspections of lines and vegetation have allowed us to reduce outage labor and equipment costs while bolstering reliability. As technology advancements become more accessible, we anticipate using advanced mapping software to better maintain the environment while providing more reliable service.

One of the best methods for improving our services to you is monitoring trends and leading practices from other electric co-ops in North Dakota and across the country. Learning from other co-ops is one of the many benefits of the cooperative business model because for us, it’s about cooperation, not competition.

As we turn our focus to 2024, Nodak Electric Cooperative will continue working to provide the reliable, affordable electricity you expect and deserve – for today and tomorrow. From all of us, to you and your families, have a joyous holiday season!

Continue Reading »
Mobile Menu Toggle
Call Nodak Electric