PIERRE, S.D. – Pierre residents will continue to enjoy reliable power and reasonable rates thanks to a long-term power agreement recently signed by the City.
The agreement between the City of Pierre and the Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) outlines a commitment from the City of Pierre to receive power from WAPA between 2021 and 2050 and a commitment from WAPA to provide power to the City of Pierre for the same time frame. Previously WAPA contracts were limited to 20-year extensions. However, based on efforts of the City and power provider Missouri River Energy Services (MRES), WAPA agreed to a 30-year contract extension.
Pierre City Administrator Leon Schochenmaier says that the agreement ensures that WAPA will be able to manage their systems responsibly and, in turn, provide reliable power to Pierre.
“Large utilities have to grow their transmission and generation systems to keep up with growing power demands. These are major investments. Large investments require large loans, and those loans require investor commitment,” said Schochenmaier.
WAPA is a federal entity that provides the City of Pierre with more than 50% of its electrical power. The remainder is purchased from MRES. The two power providers produce electricity and then transmit it to the city’s local distribution system. The city distributes it to local customers.
The City has been negotiating the agreement for more than two years; the agreement was approved by the City Commission late last year, and WAPA finalized the agreement last month.