Co-op power proves out in reliable, efficient pasta production

Dakota Growers makes a large variety of pasta shapes including penne and spaghetti.

The Dakota Growers Pasta processing plant is Northern Plains Electric Cooperative’s largest member, using about 3.5 million kilowatt-hours per month. Seth Syverson, Northern Plains Electric general manager, says Dakota Growers “is an important part of both the community and the cooperative.” Northern Plains Electric is a Basin Electric Class C member headquartered in Carrington, North Dakota.

“Virtually every department that’s a step in the process is consuming electricity at some level, but it’s concentrated in grain handling, milling, and production,” says Jason Jarrett, Dakota Growers plant manager.

Northern Plains Electric has been a good partner in ensuring power is reliable at the plant, Jarrett says. “We’ve enjoyed a high level of reliability over the 28 years this plant has been in operation,” he says. “There are five transformers that feed power into the building, so we’ve got some redundancy. Northern Plains has done a good job at helping us be able to reroute power with switchgear that we put in with their help in the last 10 years. This switchgear helps route power if a transformer would fail, so we’re still able to keep much of the priority pieces of the facility running by calling them and asking them to reroute power as needed.”

Dakota Growers’ two sister plants (in Minnesota and Virginia) don’t have the cooperative advantages the North Dakota plant does as a member of Northern Plains Electric: service and price.

“You don’t see that, normally, in manufacturing sites where you have that ability to work with your local provider,” he says. “And the price of our electricity is lowest at our plant here in North Dakota.”

Read more about Dakota Growers in the Fall 2021 issue of Basin Today magazine: Using their noodles: How Dakota Growers Pasta works with Northern Plains Electric

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