Basin Electric: Live Wire

Basin Electric: Live Wire is a blog that features some of the people stories and interesting background information that you can't get anywhere else. This blog was started in 2008 on the Wordpress platform, and moved here in 2021. Please find our archives at You can email editor Tracie Bettenhausen with story ideas.

Recent Posts

Basin Electric works to protect members from volatility

Basin Electric is dedicated to providing reliable, affordable, and responsible electricity to its members.

Basin Electric continues initiative to replace aging transmission infrastructure

As new technology emerges it’s critical to the lifespan of a substation to upgrade equipment before there’s a problem.

Christensen's 'transmission' from rookie to retiree

Throughout his four-decades-long career, Christensen worked in Resource Planning, Transmission, and Marketing and Power Supply before being hired...

Throwback Thursday: The ‘lectric light lady

Life prior to electricity was difficult for both the farmer and his wife. The book, The Next Greatest Thing, detailed how the Country Life...

Winter member managers conference goes virtual

The Member and External Relations team at Basin Electric were faced with last minute changes when the winter member managers conference, usually...

Pioneer Generation Station Phase IV adding mega megawatts

According to the 2023 Basin Electric Member Load Forecast, 92% of Basin Electric's distribution cooperative members are growing.

How We Serve with Human Resources

Human Resources focuses on the development of employees by keeping them trained, engaged, and productive, with an eye on continuous improvement.

Powder River Energy Corporation and Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative employees tour Dry Fork Station

Dry Fork Station hosted a tour of the power plant for employees of Basin Electric Class C member Powder River Energy Corporation and Oregon Trail...

Why Basin? Culture, people, and commitment to community

Basin Electric prides itself on its culture and commitment to its employees, making new hires feel welcome and appreciated from Day 1.

Basin Electric employee helps Pilots for Kids bring holiday cheer to those in need

As a part of the Pilots for Kids program, Basin Electric Pilot Steven Schaffner helped Santa and Mrs. Claus trade in their sleigh and reindeer for...

Deer Creek Station hosts tour for Aurora Volunteer Fire Department

Deer Creek Station hosted a tour with the Aurora (South Dakota) Volunteer Fire Department to grow their working relationship and prepare them in...

Basin Electric donates to youth organizations with Northern Electric Cooperative

Basin Electric recently made donations to community youth organizations in South Dakota through the member match program.

How We Serve: Financial Services

Employees at Basin Electric understand their role as stewards of service to the members of the cooperative. The “How We Serve” series highlights...

Co-ops leverage Basin Electric’s rate to build grid-level battery storage

As more electric cooperatives pursue energy storage, a generation and transmission co-op is offering a trial battery rate to help members deliver...

Basin Electric donation keeps Bismarck-Mandan Homeless Shelter open 24-hours a day for winter

Basin Electric made a $75,000 donation to Missouri Slope Areawide United Way, resulting in the reopening of the emergency homeless shelter during...

Dakota Gasification Company earns valuable certification

A few years ago, the team at Dakota Gasification Company was tasked with obtaining what’s called ISO 9001 certification, a metric that ensures...

Strength and value as a generation and transmission cooperative

Unlike other energy providers whose rates may only include energy, Basin Electric's rates include many other essential services.

How we serve with Montana Limestone Company

Montana Limestone Company is a relatively small operation that has a big impact on Basin Electric and its membership.

Top Basin Electric stories of 2022

As we’re getting ready to ring in 2023, we thought it would be fun to take a look at some of our popular posts and stories of 2022.

NIPCO reduces costs to member-consumers

The NIPCO-owned Lawton Substation, located within its service area, is home to a 975-kilowatt Tesla® Megapack® .

Scheduled outage means continued reliability at Laramie River Station

Basin Electric coordinates all outages to make sure there’s no disruption in power.

Basin Electric equipment helps young soccer players watch World Cup

Dakota United Soccer Club watched what would be the U.S. Men's National Soccer Team's final game in the World Cup using a Basin Electric projector.

Basin Electric and Dakota Gas employees step up to ensure service during mid-December blizzard

Employees at Antelope Valley Station, Leland Olds Station, the Great Plains Synfuels Plant , and Basin Electric's Security and Response Services...

Thinking big: Minnesota co-op leads tour for local grad students

The following is an excerpt from an article in RE Magazine featuring Dee Anne Norris, CEO of Renville-Sibley Cooperative Power Association, a Basin...

Sustainability a top priority at Basin Electric

At Basin Electric, sustainability is the commitment we make to our members to meet their needs, while ensuring future generations will thrive.

Basin Electric transmission rates team finds an opportunity to cut Basin Electric costs

"That we were able to see an opportunity and capture it to save Basin Electric over $400,000 annually, which could increase every year, makes this...

How We Serve: Resource Planning and Rates

Resource Planning & Rates is responsible for the management of Basin Electric’s long-term origination and resource planning activities which...

2022 Annual Meeting full reporting

Find videos of the presentations on our website, and on our YouTube channel, 2022 Annual Meeting playlist.

PRECorp Leases Electric Vehicle As Part Of Moonshot Initiative

Two years ago, the co-op leased an electric Chevy Bolt to help support its “Moonshot” initiative, with the goal of reducing its megawatt hour (MWh)...

Laramie River Station employees make a splash in their community

Employees at Laramie River Station came together to save their community pool from closing down for the rest of the summer.

Watch LIVE: Basin Electric Annual Meeting 2022

Watch Basin Electric's Annual Meeting live.

Basin Electric Teams Collaborate On Software Upgrade

Upgrading software is no easy thing, and when it comes to Allegro, the Energy Trading and Risk Management solution at Basin Electric, it took 45...

East River Electric Purchases Its First All-Electric Vehicle

East River Electric has been looking into purchasing an electric vehicle (EV) for use as a fleet vehicle for several years.

Basin Electric employees donate 860 lbs. of fresh, local food in 2022

Since 2014, Basin’s Backyard Garden has donated 5,256 lbs. of fresh, mostly local food to local food pantries through the Hunger Free North Dakota...

How We Serve: Government Relations

Employees at Basin Electric understand their role as stewards of service to the members of the cooperative. The “How We Serve” series highlights...

A family tradition: three generations at Dakota Gas

“Sometimes a job can be looked at as just that, but in reality, a job at Dakota Gas has provided for generations for the Carr family, and working...

Former Basin Electric spokesperson honored by Lignite Energy Council

Joan Dietz received the award during LEC's annual meeting on Sept. 28. 

Basin Electric and PRECorp donate $10,000 to local organizations

Basin Electric recently partnered with Class C member Powder River Energy Corporation (PRECorp), headquartered in Sundance, Wyoming, on two...

Basin Electric team continually plans for reliable transmission

The Transmission team at Basin Electric were a part of the recent planning effort that resulted in the approval of more than $500 million in...

The Garfield Dairy shares co-op value of community

The community-minded values of the new Garfield Dairy near Bryant, South Dakota, make it an ideal member for an electric cooperative with the same...

How We Serve: Asset Management and Commodity Strategy

The “How We Serve” series highlights employees and their work group and explains how they serve our members every day.

MREA editorial shows we're all in this together

Reliability means something different to an electric utility than it does to a clean energy advocate.

Transmission projects determined as needed in North Dakota by the Southwest Power Pool

The Southwest Power Pool (SPP) conducted an Integrated Transmission Planning study and in 2021 determined the need for extensive new transmission...

Montana school teacher shows the value of commitment in rural areas

This year, Hill County Electric offered its first ever Teacher Appreciation Award in an effort to help retain these educators that are so critical...

Basin Electric CEO and general manager visits wind, natural gas, and subsidiary facilities

Basin Electric CEO and general manager Todd Telesz visited three Basin Electric facilities this summer in Distributed Generation and two locations...

Deer Creek Station serves members with distributed generation

"Basically everything we do affects the membership. What's good for the membership is good for us."

Teamwork at Basin Electric develops new billing system

In 2019, departments at Basin Electric overcame challenges and worked together to develop a new member billing software called MemberBilling.

Feeling the heat puts focus on reliability

Reports of energy shortfalls that could potentially lead to power interruptions left people feeling uneasy this spring and summer.

Basin Electric hosts the South Dakota Rural Electric Association's Youth Excursion

Basin Electric hosted the South Dakota Rural Electric Association’s Youth Excursion, including 14 high school students sponsored by electric...

Old Basin Electric safety inspection vehicle from 1961 found in Ohio

In 1997, an old Basin Electric safety inspection vehicle was found for sale in a newspaper ad by a family from Shreve, Ohio.

Vastness and variety set Montana co-op apart

Doug Hardy says, “I’ve learned to volunteer to do things nobody else wants to do because some of those things have applications you would never...

Basin Electric continues sponsoring Teen Room at The Boys and Girls Club of Campbell County

Due to Basin Electric's sponsorship, the club has been able to market the space for the middle school age group within the community to provide a...

Basin Electric member match goes toward Carhart Trail improvements

Basin Electric provided a member match donation of $2,500 with Class C member San Isabel Electric to a non-profit, entirely volunteer-run...

Basin Electric watches cryptocurrency volatility and risk

Cryptocurrency is a digital form of currency that doesn’t come from central authorities such as governments or banks. Bitcoin, the first form of...

Basin Electric teams up with Powder River Energy for donation to Climb Wyoming

Powder River Energy Foundation and Basin Electric have joined forces to make a $10,000 donation to Climb Wyoming, fostering workforce development...

A day in the life of Basin Electric senior fleet and logistics administrator Nathan Johnson

“I work with employees at our facilities to find out when they need the equipment they ordered, then with trucking companies to coordinate...

Basin Electric pilots fly to East Coast to pick up parts for Dry Fork Station outage

"It is missions like these that really show the true value of the cooperative aircraft."

Rural America becomes even more electrified

“Having more access and reliability for power has been critical,” Eric Watson says. “If we didn’t have reliable power, it would hit every aspect,...

Basin Electric partners with members to support SPURS Therapeutic Riding Center

Basin Electric Class C member Northern Electric Cooperative presented SPURS Therapeutic Horseback Riding Center in Aberdeen, SD with a $2,000...

Trooper Toss event at Basin Electric provides funds for veteran bison hunts

In honor of Military Appreciation Month, employees at Basin Electric’s Headquarters participated in Trooper Toss – a fundraising event for Injured...

Living the cooperative way: Laramie River Station employees serve their community inside and outside of work

The skillsets William Deglman uses in his role as safety coordinator at Laramie River Station are also useful in his role as assistant fire chief...

40 Years of Opportunities: Steve Johnson's story with Basin Electric

One of the reasons Johnson says he’s found success in his career is that he has tried to treat everyone with respect and dignity and give people an...

Co-op members show kindness to line crews during spring snowstorm

North Central Electric linemen worked long, hard hours after a late spring snowstorm knocked out power to some 1,200 accounts. Members were not shy...

Basin Electric Transmission System Maintenance comes to one member’s rescue amid snowstorm

Even with assistance from Basin Electric and other local cooperatives, it took Burke-Divide nearly three weeks to get power back to all residences.

Quick thinking by DGC teams lessen impacts of fire

The quick actions of Operations, Electrical and Instrumentation, and Protection Services helped minimize damage and prevent injuries.

Leland Olds Station and Basin Electric Marketing teams turned a former cost into a benefit

Basin Electric’s Leland Olds Station and Marketing teams partnered to turn an $875,000 cost into a net benefit of $1.6 million annually.

Basin tours the Bakken

Todd Telesz and Becky Kern visited key sites in the Bakken oil field to learn firsthand about current challenges and the potential for large-scale...

From blizzards to tornadoes, the Basin Electric SRS team managed it all

When historic blizzard, Silas, hit western and central North Dakota starting April 12, the Security and Response Services (SRS) team anticipated...

Basin Electric employee donations help victims reach goals

Employees collected about $10,000 in June 2021 that went to a special fund at Abused Adult Resource Center -- New Directions Education and...

Basin Electric CEO and General Manager Todd Telesz tours generation facilities

When Todd Telesz took the position of Basin Electric’s sixth-ever CEO and general manager, he committed to visiting Basin Electric’s plant sites...

All are Welcome: Homeless Cats find Sanctuary on Basin Electric Employee's Ranch

Tami Lynn Arndt, administrative assistant at Laramie River Station, has always loved animals.

Antelope Valley Station employees get creative in moving coal

When a fire occurred at Antelope Valley Station last September, there was some damage to the L1 chute that brings in the coal fines from Dakota...

Basin Electric employee's quote highlighted by Bismarck Tribune

The Bismarck Tribune runs a weekly feature title "Eminently Quotable."

New Basin Electric Director Jerry Beck: Farmer, father, rural electric leader

Basin Electric’s newest director, Jerry Beck, joined the Basin Electric board in December.

Innovative thinking saves the cooperative $1 million annually

When a project to modify the air quality control system at Dry Fork Station near Gillette, Wyoming, began, the project team had no idea it would...

Sheri Haugen-Hoffart: A woman, a leader, a public servant

In a largely male-dominated industry, she says she never let being in the minority bother her.

A multitasker who loves a challenge

Worker shortages mean some trucking companies are declining to accept jobs moving freight into states like North Dakota and Wyoming.

Strategy for serving power to Basin Electric members, long-term

Basin Electric has generation and transmission facilities on both sides of the grid, and also has access to the DC ties.

Basin Electric employee receives Core Value Award from vendor

Core Values Awards are given each year to celebrate notable individuals in the fleet industry who demonstrate the values that are integral to the...

Basin Electric's load forecasters are crystal ball experts

Robert Frank and Jay Lundstrom are responsible for the load forecasting for Basin Electric's membership. The load forecast is the main tool used...

Embracing change and serving the membership

Dave Raatz, senior vice president of Asset Management, Resource Planning, and Rates, retires after 41 years.

It's just part of living: Iowa man pays it forward to future generations

Retired dentist Dr. George North is one of three winners of the Touchstone Energy Cooperatives of Iowa's Shine the Light contest, a contest that...

Leland Olds Station employees use special equipment to clear ice, get unit back online

With the ice and debris clogging up the intake, a loss of flow of circulated water brought the intake from 40,000 gallons per minute down to 13,000...

'Down Here, It's Pickup Truck Country'

Will rural residents be ready to go electric when EV trucks hit the market?

Helping them be who they were meant to be

East River Electric does its part to benefit a community organization that provides therapies and equipment for differently abled children and...

Three teams work over the holidays to power up Wyoming CarbonSAFE project

It  took a collaborative trio to power the Wyoming CarbonSAFE project at Dry Fork Station.