Frank Wiersma

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Agricultural Engineering


A limiting factor of installing electric power on farms, especially in the more thinly populated areas, is the initial and annual cost of providing this electricity. In view of this fact, this study has been made to determine the costs of various methods of providing electrical power to these farms and the various physical and economic factors that have an effect on these costs. Some farm operators, when considering the instillation of electricity, look only at the cost without considering the benefits and increased financial returns. Some operators, on the other hand, can see only the benefits of electricity without stopping to realize that unless initial and operation cost are justified they will receive only added expenses and may not be able to continue the operation of their source of power. Proper utilization is an important factor in an electric power unit instillation that will pay for itself. Farmers who have no electricity available at the present are faced with the question of what type of electric power source should be installed. Should he install an individual wind or internal combustion engine plant, or should he wait until a central-station source of power is available? For those who have had an individual plant for some time, but have since had a central-station source made available to them, the question arises as to whether or not they should change their source of power. In order to answer these questions it is necessary to know the financial costs of all methods available and balance these with the benefits that may be received from each source. To know this, a study must be made of the various factors that have an appreciable effect in the various costs. This study is primarily made to ascertain the conditions affecting the costs of delivering the electricity to rural areas through central-station service. An individual plant as a source of power will provide almost the same amount of returns as a given cost in one territory as it will in another, For this reason more accurate figures can be obtained in the cost of a given type of individual plant than can be obtained for the cost of central-station service. The rates to be charged will depend on a number of factors, each one of which will vary in different areas. This study has been made in an attempt ti determine which factors influence the retail rates that consumers pay and to what degree they are affected by each.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Rural electrification


Includes bibliographical references



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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