How we serve: Engineering and Construction

Matt Ehrman, Basin Electric vice president of Engineering and Construction.

Employees at Basin Electric understand their roles as stewards of service to the members of the cooperative. The “How We Serve” series highlights an employee and their work group and explains how they serve our members every day.

Matt Ehrman has worked for Dakota Gas and Basin Electric for a combined 22 years. “I began my career at Dakota Gas in 2001 and worked there for five years before making my way to Basin Electric,” Ehrman says. After serving as manager of Mechanical Engineering, Ehrman was promoted to vice president of Engineering and Construction in February 2023. 

Ehrman shares more about his role and the relationships he has with his team, and how together their purpose has strengthened Basin Electric’s dedication to serving its member-owners.

Together with his coworkers and team, Ehrman gets to interface with all of Basin Electric’s various departments and facilities and listen to and understand their ideas and engineering related needs. “Then I get to connect those departments and facilities with members of the Engineering and Construction team to turn those ideas into the real thing,” Ehrman says.  

The Engineering and Construction team provides technical expertise and support for all things generation and transmission related. “The team is extremely talented and offers a full range of engineering and other capabilities including multiple specialty areas within electrical, mechanical, and civil engineering, as well as performance and reliability engineering, architecture, surveying, geographic information systems, construction coordination, design, drafting and document control,” Ehrman says. Together, the Engineering and Construction team executes projects of all sizes across all the cooperative’s existing and new facilities. “We have an “all-of-the-above team” and that’s what it takes to deliver on Basin’s “all-of-the-above” strategy.”

The Engineering and Construction team implements projects and solutions that improve the safety, reliability, performance, and the economics of the facilities. “Our projects come in all shapes and sizes, but all the work we do falls into one of those categories. We take pride in knowing that the work we do matters to our members and the communities we serve,” Ehrman says.

There are several goals on the horizon for the E&C team including the completion of the Dakota Gas 45Q project, the Roundup-to-Kummer Ridge 345-kV transmission project, and the Pioneer Generation Station Phase IV (PGSIV) project. “These are very large, complicated projects that will provide value to the cooperative and help to ensure Basin Electric continues to deliver safe, reliable, and affordable electricity to our members,” Ehrman says. The team is targeting completion of the 45Q project in early 2024, to energize Roundup-to-Kummer Ridge by early 2025, and to have the additional PGSIV generation online by mid-2025.

“Throughout my time at Dakota Gas and Basin Electric, I’ve learned to appreciate all of the different skills and talents within the cooperative, and how it takes a team of diverse talents to accomplish the variety of assignments we’re involved in,” Ehrman says. “That really is the co-op model. We can accomplish much more when we work together towards a common goal.”

Ehrman is extremely proud to be part of the Engineering and Construction team. “The team’s expertise in the industry is second to none and because of that we can accomplish just about anything,” he says. “When I look back at those accomplishments and those yet to come it’s pretty amazing.” 

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