Data points, results of recent study:
- electricity demand will rise substantially in western North Dakota over next 20 years
- from 971 megawatts to more than 3,000 megawatts by 2032
- mostly in 22 oil-producing counties; rise sharpest in Williams (rise 339%) and McKenzie (rise 232%) counties
- MDU expanding infrastructure, now in: Williston, Watford City, Ray, Tioga, Stanley, Alexander, and Kenmare
This link to Ventura County Star provides a few more data points to the same story:
Over the past six years, North Dakota has risen from the nation's ninth-leading oil producer to its second, trailing only Texas, because of advanced horizontal drilling techniques that opened up the rich Bakken shale and Three Forks formations.
The study projects North Dakota will have between 30,000 and 40,000 oil wells by 2032, up from about 7,700 now. Every well requires the same amount of electricity as three farmsteads, Dale Haugen, general manager of the Mountrail-Williams Electric Cooperative, told The Forum newspaper.
The study also estimates a 52 percent population increase in the region in 20 years.