Officials Gather To Cut Ribbon At New Substation Near Onida

(KCCR) — Officials gathered just south of Onida Friday for a ribbon cutting ceremony at a substation that could energize economic development in the region. East River Electric Chief Operating Officer Mark Hoffman says the Onida substation will provide a secure connection to electricity in the area…

“This new substation will increase the reliability to the area and bring increased capacity to the area and we’re just thankful that we can have the opportunity to continue to serve this area.”
The substation serves the Ringneck Energy ethanol plant just a mile east of the facility. Ringneck Energy President Walt Wendlund says the substation is critical to their operation…

“It’s a very vital part, even one little blip will take the plant down for, you know, three or four hours possibly so having a constant flow of uninterrupted electricity at the rate that we need is very important to the success of Ringneck Energy.”
Onida Area Development Corporation President Bryan Ring the substation could lead to further economic development in Sully County…

“We’re just glad that everyone was able to partner very well to make the energy…energy requirements meet what they needed and obviously it’s good for Onida and the surrounding area to have the redundancy that’s there now so I think we’re very well happy with it and hopefully we’ll continue to see some more economic development in the area to piggyback along with that.”
East River partnered with Oahe Electric to make the new substation possible. Ken Gillespie is President of the Oahe Electric Board of Directors and says they are excited about what the substation could bring to the area…

“And I’m pleased to see the economic development that is happening around Onida as well as throughout the region of South Dakota.  As the region continues to expand our cooperative network is prepare to meet its growing needs through this substation as well as through others that are currently in the planning and construction phase.  Our network of electric cooperatives provide more than just power.  We’re committed to advancing our communities through volunteer work, economic development activities and more.”
The substation replaces a 1970’s circa substation on the west side of US Highway 83. Construction began on the new station in September of 2016 and was completed in the fall of 2018.