How We Serve: Asset Management and Commodity Strategy

Valerie Weigel
Valerie Weigel, Basin Electric vice president of Asset Management and Commodity Strategy.

Employees at Basin Electric understand their role as stewards of service to the members of the cooperative. The “How We Serve” series highlights employees and their work group and explains how they serve our members every day.

Valerie Weigel was promoted to the position of Basin Electric vice president of Asset Management and Commodity Strategy in January 2022. She has been with Basin Electric since she began as an intern in 1998. She held various roles in accounting and finance before transitioning to asset marketing where she became manager of Marketing and Financial Analytics. In 2019, she was promoted to director of Asset Management and Commodity Strategy. Weigel currently serves as the chair of the Western Markets Working Group and is a voting member of the Southwest Power Pool Improved Resource Availability Task Force. We had the opportunity to speak with her to find out more about her role and the role of the marketing group, and how together their purpose has strengthened Basin Electric’s dedication to serving its member-owners. 

What are the different ways Basin Electric provides value to its members? 

Basin Electric is unique for several different reasons. Because we have a widespread membership, we are operating in multiple power markets. There are different risks in the areas that we’re operating in and sometimes those risks can end up being a benefit to us. For example, in the western market if drought presents a risk and results in high prices and we have extra generation we can sell as surplus, it presents an opportunity where we can share the value from those surplus sales with our members. Basin Electric’s diversified fleet, market areas, fuel types, and DC ties help to provide us with a lot of different options and we are continually evaluating to make sure that we are capturing opportunities the market is presenting, and also mitigating the risks the market is presenting to help serve our membership load at the lowest cost. 

How is the Basin Electric marketing group working to capture the best value for its members? 

Through continued training and staff retention, I don’t know that I’ve experienced a time frame when we’ve had a stronger and more cohesive team than we do right now. Our team is incredibly engaged and motivated to perform. The experience our team has gained allows us to better capitalize on opportunities and mitigate risks across natural gas markets, power markets, and Dakota Gasification Company fertilizer and product sales. Specifically, this year we have expanded our sales of Dakota Gas products to additional customers and have expanded the footprint where we are selling our products. We continue to engage in learning opportunities to better identify and execute on market related congestion opportunities, and have consistently worked to execute financial hedges to mitigate risk and volatility. 

What have you learned during your time in the marketing group? 

Every day is different and creates a new challenge. Each day presents different load levels, generation availability and market conditions which create a new equation for our team to solve. There is a lot of collaboration between our team and Operations, Finance, our counterparties, the markets and our membership that goes on each day in order to solve the day’s equation optimally. Ultimately, the more cohesive, engaged and experienced our team is, the better we can perform in our roles and the better we can collectively work toward our goal of providing value to the membership.

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