Environment, Education, Energy: Policy to People

Rural Electric Cooperatives Straining to Power Oklahoma’s Oil and Gas Boom

Rural electric cooperatives are working “overtime” to meet increased power demand from Oklahoma’s oil patch, reports Electric Co-op Today.

Officials with the Kay Electric Co-op in Blackwell — which serves the Mississippi Lime play — say power demand has doubled in recent years, and they say it could double again in the next two. Co-ops are straining and scrambling to add substations and built new distribution lines.

The small, rural co-ops and their power suppliers are under pressure from oil companies to increase capacity, Victoria A. Rocha writes for ECT, the trade news outlet of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

“Producers don’t want to wait because oil is so valuable,” said Mark Faulkenberry, manager of marketing and communications at Western Farmers Electric Co-op, a G&T in Anadarko.

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