A ribbon cutting ceremony was held for the new Onida substation on Friday, August 23. The substation is owned by East River Electric Power Cooperative and serves the member-owners of Oahe Electric Cooperative, including the city of Onida and Ringneck Energy ethanol plant.

During the event, representatives from East River Electric, Oahe Electric, Ringneck Energy, the Onida Area Development Corporation and the Onida Chamber of Commerce discussed the benefits that the new substation brings to the area. The event concluded with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

“We are excited for the enhanced capabilities of this new facility in meeting the growing energy needs of Onida, Ringneck Energy and the surrounding area,” said East River Chief Operations Officer Mark Hoffman. “This new substation will have the ability to serve new growth in the area for years to come, just further enhancing the region’s economic development opportunities. East River and Oahe Electric are strong supporters of the ethanol industry and are pleased to work with Ringneck Energy to meet their power needs.”

The new substation replaces a substation that was built in the 1970s and brings increased capacity to reliably meet the area’s current and future energy needs. Construction began in September 2016 and was completed in fall 2018.

“We appreciate the great working relationships with East River Electric, Ringneck Energy and the city of Onida,” said Oahe Electric General Manager Rodney Haag. “This new substation has improved the reliability of Oahe Electric’s energy delivery system to our member-owners.”

In addition to the Onida substation, East River Electric is currently planning several other facilities in the area. These facilities include a new substation west of Blunt in Hughes County that is currently under construction, plans for a new substation north of Pierre and a rebuild of a current substation west of Onida. These projects will improve reliability and provide additional capacity for the region’s growing energy needs.

Photo: East River Electric Business Development Director Mike Jaspers (left), East River Electric Chief Member and Public Relations Officer Chris Studer, East River Electric Chief Operations Officer Mark Hoffman, Oahe Electric General Manager Rodney Haag, Onida Chamber of Commerce President Marileen Tilberg, Onida Area Development Corporation President Brian Ring, Onida Chamber of Commerce Member Leann Weischedel, Ringneck Energy CEO Walt Wendland and Oahe Electric Board President Ken Gillaspie