North Dakota Transmission Authority holds public meeting for application process on $3.7 million

Published: Sep. 15, 2022 at 6:25 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - The North Dakota Transmission Authority met today to take public comment on an application process to distribute funds from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

As the United States moves to rely more on electricity to power towns and cities, more strain will be put on the electric grid system. To prepare for the increased load, the North Dakota Transmission Authority is searching for interested stakeholders to apply for a portion of 3.7 million dollars which will be distributed every year for five years. They held a meeting for public comment on the application process.

“These funds will make a lot of projects move forward that probably have been unable to in the past,” said Josh Kramer the Executive Vice President and General Manager of North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives.

“PSC is also supportive of grid modernization projects. Having an electric grid capable of providing a high level of reliability and low cost is crucial to ensuring North Dakota’s long-term interest,” said Victor Schock on behalf of the North Dakota Public Service Commission.

While most comments where positive and applauded the work the Transmission Authority was doing to prepare grid systems, some said the application process should be simpler and straight forward and some of the criteria for selection were off the mark.

“The number of jobs created; I think if this is truly about reliability that number of jobs created is really pretty irrelevant. Seems to be more of an economic development goal rather than a resilience and reliability goal, " said Jay Skabo Vice President of Electric Supply with Montana Dakota Utilities.

The NDTA outlined three objectives for how the funds should be used, they need to reduce the magnitude and the frequency of grid outages and implement grid modernization projects to bring lower cost energy to disadvantaged and underserved communities.

The money will be awarded to electric companies based on their past investment in resiliency projects. The NDTA said public input on the application process is welcomed by September 30th.