Basin Electric hosts the South Dakota Rural Electric Association's Youth Excursion

Each year, Basin Electric hosts visitors at our facilities to educate them about how energy is made and our role in providing energy to our member cooperatives. On July 26-27, Basin Electric hosted the South Dakota Rural Electric Association's (SDREA) Youth Excursion, including 14 high school students sponsored by electric cooperatives from across the state.

The students were joined by Jocelyn Johnson, Billy Gibson, and Emily Costar of SDREA as they traveled on a four-day journey where they explored careers and the cooperative power supply system.

They visited Basin Electric Headquarters on July 26. They also participated in a career panel coordinated by Heather Schlenker, Basin Electric Human Resources specialist, where they learned about careers in information technology, cyber security, and power marketing. They then visited with Cody Schoonover, Basin Electric Real-Time Trading supervisor in Marketing, to learn about energy markets.

On July 27, they visited the Antelope Valley Station, Great Plains Synfuels Plant, and The Coteau Properties Company’s Freedom Mine. They learned how North Dakota’s abundant lignite coal resources are used to meet energy needs in the region.

The students were excited and interested about the things they learned. “We took a tour of the Antelope Valley Station which is where the power is generated, and it’s just massive,” says student Caleb Oppelt. “We saw different places in the facility and you could even see inside the boilers where the incredible amount of heat that is generated from burning the coal goes into making steam which powers insanely large portions of the U.S.”

Madison Reece says that workers were brought in from different departments at Headquarters so they could get a feel for what they could do in the industry.

“Seeing them actively mining the coal up close was also cool because you don’t really know where the electricity is coming from or the process it takes, so to see the process from the beginning was cool,” says student Emma Hunt.

Watch the video, produced by SDREA. 

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