Board approves 2023 load forecast

At its January meeting, Basin Electric’s board of directors approved the member load forecast for 2023-2050. The forecast shows growth at 0.8 to 1.3% annually across the membership, according to Jay Lundstrom, Basin Electric lead load forecast analyst.

Growth within Basin Electric’s service area in the residential and commercial sectors as well as cryptocurrency load, the projected emergence of ethanol production-related carbon dioxide (CO2) capture and sequestration, and continued economic development in western North Dakota all contribute to the load growth in the forecast.

This year’s forecast shows a base case, a low case, and a high case. “The load forecast is used for multiple purposes, each with its own financial or operational risk tolerance,” Lundstrom said. “We continue to develop a bandwidth forecast to capture the range of what is probable, with the actuals likely falling in the middle. This approach becomes especially prudent when forecasting loads or sectors with high volatility.”

The load forecast is the main tool used for power supply planning, financial forecasting, rate planning, and transmission planning.