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Verdigris Valley Electric to receive millions for infrastructure improvements

Posted at 7:26 PM, Apr 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-15 21:02:34-04

SKIATOOK, Okla. — More reliable service might be on the way to some northeast Oklahoma residents. About $21.8 million in federal funding is going to Verdigris Valley Electric Cooperative.

The VVEC team will use part of the money to keep up with a heavier power load. Businesses are popping up just as fast as homes in suburban areas. The growth puts a strain on electricity.

“A work study done by an engineering firm forecasts areas where we may need to improve line because of increased load, new housing additions, new businesses going in,” said Randy Riddle, VVEC director of operations, engineering and purchasing.

The cooperative will also use the investment to connect over a thousand customers and work on 210 miles of electrical line.

“Electricity that’s sustainable to them and that they can count on,” Riddle said.

A skiatook store employee, who prefers to go unnamed, hopes that is true.

“It’s been goin’ on for about 12 years,” she said as she described an unreliable summertime power service.

The VVEC team said the new funding will improve their power delivery, which has also been impacted by marijuana grow houses.

“They use a lot of electricity and that’s been one of the major factors in some of the line improvements that we’re having to do,” Riddle said.

VVEC’s electrical load is projected to grow by 500 to 600 new services a year. It currently serves more than 37,000 meters in Green Country.

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