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Electric co-ops have nearly $250M impact on state's economy

PIERRE -- South Dakota's electric cooperatives have nearly a $250-million impact on the state's economy, a Vermillion-based researcher has concluded.

"In terms of total economic activity, the $248.8 million in expenditures by the 30 South Dakota electric cooperatives generated an additional $111.3 million in economic activity throughout the state, yielding a total activity or output multiplier of 1.45," wrote Randall M. Stuefen of Stuefen Research LLC.

Stuefen's research was based on a survey of the economic contribution of South Dakota's 30 electric cooperatives as reported in SDREA's 2010 survey of its membership and is an assessment of the additional economic activity generated by the cooperatives' initial stimulus to the state's economy in 2009.

The two generation and transmission cooperatives together with the 28 retail electric cooperatives employ 881 workers full-time and 78 part-time workers.