How We Serve: Resource Planning and Rates

Becky Kern, Basin Electric vice president of Resource Planning & Rates.

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. 

Becky Kern was promoted to vice president of Resource Planning & Rates in January 2022. She began her career with Basin Electric in 2003 as a power supply engineer. In 2012, she moved into the role of manager of Utility Planning, and from there to director of Long Term Utility Planning in 2014. She shares more about her role and the role of the Resource Planning and Rates team, and how together their purpose has strengthened Basin Electric’s dedication to serving its consumer-owners.

Resource Planning & Rates is responsible for the management of Basin Electric’s long-term origination and resource planning activities which includes the development of long-term member load forecasts, long-term position development, long-term power supply planning, long-term transmission service arrangements, resource adequacy compliance and RTO (regional transmission organization) coordination activities,” Kern says. Additionally, the team negotiates and executes long-term sales and purchases of power, energy, and renewable credits. They also analyze new resource development, negotiate and administer member wholesale power contracts, member rate strategies, member rate component levels, and member billing data. 

It’s important to have goals, and the Resource Planning & Rates team has three: to develop a large load rate to provide for a better allocation and protection of the risk in serving new large loads within the membership, to analyze and justify the development of new power supply to meet forecasted member load growth, and to identify if purchase opportunities exist that can be acted on and developed.

In a nutshell, the team is committed to making sure Basin Electric serves the membership now and far into the future by supporting future member load growth in a way that’s sustainable and affordable. 

“With the growing membership and the growing fleet of resources, Basin Electric can provide stability to the membership by relying on a diverse resource portfolio, with access to different markets and the ability to move power/energy between the different markets,” she says. Basin Electric has been able to diversify its resource portfolio by bringing diverse resources into the resource portfolio to support load growth without the need to retire any generating assets, thus being able to maintain reliability to the grid and the membership.

Kern loves working with the membership. “Every member is different and they are all trying to do what is right for their consumers at the end of the line. Working with the membership, listening to the membership, understanding what the members need and what can be accomplished, provides for a better form of communication and working relationship with the membership. In order for Basin Electric to succeed and provide benefits to the membership, we must work with and understand their needs and desires.”

There is a lot of history within the Basin Electric membership and it’s impossible to understand it all. It takes years to understand the various arrangements that exist within the membership and to learn about all of the different members. “I can say after nearly 20 years within Resource Planning & Rates, I am still learning,” Kern says.

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