Laverdure updates Minot Chamber EDC on Basin Electric’s cooperative power supply

Erin Laverdure, Basin Electric project coordination representative, presents to the Minot Chamber EDC.

Communication, training, and education are just a few of the ways Basin Electric engages with its membership. This involvement strengthens the sense of community and ownership among members, building their commitment to the cooperative’s success. 

Verendrye Electric Cooperative, a Basin Electric Class C member located in Minot, North Dakota, invited Erin Laverdure, Basin Electric project coordination representative, to present to two subcommittees of the Minot Chamber EDC – the Energy subcommittee on November 30, and the Infrastructure subcommittee on January 12. Each presentation updated chamber members on the investments Basin Electric is making in western North Dakota to enhance reliability and meet the growing needs of member cooperatives. 

Over the past 15 years, Basin Electric has invested $1.1 billion in western North Dakota to meet and maintain reliability for its members and will invest an additional $1.3 billion in generation and transmission in upcoming years. Between 2024-2033, Basin Electric will invest $5.1 billion in new generation and transmission capital expenditures cooperative wide. 

“Presentations like this help our member cooperatives reinforce their connection to a reliable, diverse power supply,” Laverdure says. “Their member-consumers want to know that their power supply is in it for the long haul, and we can help them see that it is.”

Tom Rafferty, Verendrye Electric Member Services and Communications manager, says presentations like this are also helpful for community leaders to know about projects beforehand such as new transmission lines because they can help explain the need to others, which can help build trust in the community when the time comes to gain easements. “A lot of people don't realize how important it is to have abundant and reliable electricity, not only for their homes, but also to bring industry to our area,” Rafferty says. “Erin's presentation clearly shows how Basin Electric and other electric cooperatives are making massive investments to benefit our communities throughout the state.”

People serving on the two subcommittees are civic leaders who have a lot of influence in their community. “They are always interested in knowing more about projects that affect our community, especially when it comes to economic development,” Rafferty says. The Infrastructure Committee chairman welcomed Laverdure back to share updates as the projects progress.

Laverdure says attendees had great questions about how the power carried by the new transmission lines makes it to the Minot area, and how the power grid in general works.

“Working with our member cooperatives, and meeting their member-consumers, reminds me why I do what I do,” Laverdure says. “As our members thrive, so do our rural communities. I’m happy to play a small part in that.”

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