South Dakota legislators attend tour, learn about cooperative

On July 26-27, seven South Dakota legislators learned about South Dakota’s electric cooperatives and Basin Electric firsthand. The tour was hosted by the South Dakota Rural Electric Association, along with Basin Electric Class A Members East River Electric Power Cooperative and Rushmore Electric Cooperative.

A highlight of the event included touring Basin Electric’s Antelope Valley Station (AVS) and North American Coal’s Freedom Mine in Beulah, North Dakota.

Getting a closer look at a dragline bucket at the Freedom Mine.

“A lot of people are surprised by the magnitude of AVS and the Freedom Mine,” said Tyler Hamman, senior legislative representative at Basin Electric. “It’s always great to help educate them - whether the public or policymakers - on everything that goes into flipping their light switch and see the appreciation they gain for the process.”

Before going to Antelope Valley and the Freedom Mine, legislators started the day at Basin Electric’s headquarters in Bismarck, North Dakota. Basin Electric representatives shared an overview of Basin Electric and Dakota Gasification Company, a legislative/policy update and a power supply overview, and concluded with a brief visit to the marketing floor.

Before traveling to North Dakota, legislators began their tour at the offices of East River and Rushmore, where each provided an overview of their operations and cooperative system.

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