Niobrara Electric Association, Inc. (NEA) is a non-profit, member owned co-op. A co-op is a type of electric utility that is owned by the members it serves. A co-op exists solely to provide high-quality service at the lowest possible price for its customers/owners.
NEA recorded its first meeting on July 18, 1941. Mr. T. C. Ferrel, REA Field Representative, explained the first steps to be taken to form a rural electric cooperative. Mr. Francis McVay acted as temporary secretary for this meeting. The first Board of Directors, elected at this meeting, were:
- Coy Jennewein, President
- F. W. Reed, Vice President
- H. E. Sabin, Secretery-Treasurer
- Harlan Zerbe, Director
- Arthur Thompson, Director
- Beryl Fullerton, Director
- Guy Mosier, Director
Some of these board members were replaced not more than three weeks after that first meeting. NEA was officially incorporated on October 24, 1941 and the first meeting of the incorporators was held on November 17, 1941 at the Court House in Lusk, Wyoming. The first Annual Meeting was held on May 15, 1946 in the Niobrara County Court Room with 63 members present and 38 represented by proxy.
On June 28, 1946 the first loan was executed to NEA in the amount of $421,000.00. The early developement stages of the cooperative required tireless effort by men of vision who were not easily discouraged. Most of these men served for little or no pay, and they traveled up and down the rural roads signing up their neighbors for a rural electrification project that many people believed never could become a reality.
The first line was energized in 1949 and the first operating report, prepared for the month of January 1950, showed 43 customers and a revenue of $217.04. Harrison, Nebraska was energized in May, 1950. By June, 1951 NEA was in dealings to extend their power lines to all of Sioux County, NE and Niobrara County, WY, as well as parts of Goshen and Platte counties in Wyoming. This project would include around 742 miles of new line.
NEA moved to their new location 1 1/2 miles West of Lusk in August, 1954. In December of that same year a substation was built at the same site. This substation was built to serve all rural and industrial needs in Niobrara county and those in parts of Goshen, Platte, and Converse counties.
Today, NEA has 1,163 members serving 3,116 meters with 2,282 miles of line, which translates to 1.26 consumers per mile of line. Don't let the sparse population of the area and Niobrara Electric's small size fool you though. Niobrara Electric's board of directors and employees are committed to our member/consumers, by providing the best electric service possible, as well as many value added services, at fair, stable rates.
3951 U.S. Hwy 20
Lusk, Wyoming 82225-0697
Toll Free WY, NE and SD 1-800-322-0544