Throwback Thursday: June 1978

1978 ribbon cutting of Basin Electric's solar heating project. It cost approximately $397,000 with the Energy Research and Development Administration providing 90% of the funds and Basin Electric 10%.

In May 1978, Basin Electric's solar heating project began operation. Construction to install the solar collector plates near Basin Electric's 67,000 square-foot Headquarters building began in October 1977.

From the June 1978 REPORT story, "Energy from the Sun":

The solar heating system for the 67,000 square foot building is a joint demonstration project with the Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA) and the Department of Energy (DOE). The Cooperative owns and operates the supplemental heating system; the energy agency will monitor the system's performance to determine feasibility and cost-benefit ratios. ... The supplemental system will provide approximately one-third of the heating needs of the Cooperative's four-story headquarters.  

Download a PDF to read the full story, on page 3: REPORT June 1978


Aerial view of Basin Electric’s supplemental solar heating system. The solar heating addition consisted of 270 double glass solar collectors and delivered supplemental solar heat into the existing heating system for the Cooperative’s 67,000 square foot Headquarters.

Basin Electric conducted tours of the cooperative's supplemental heating system with a "Sun Day" event. Over 1,900 visitors including 1,200 local school children toured the solar heating facilities at the May 3, 1978 event.
An event to unveil the solar heating project took place in front of the Headquarters building. The building was completed and occupied in late 1975.

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