President and General Manager Message
PEOPLE. POWER. PURPOSE.
Three simple words, yet they embody all of what Basin Electric is – how it came to be, what it is today and what it will be in the future.
No matter what Basin Electric and its membership face – be it poorly-considered regulations, commodity price fluctuations, growing loads or an evolution in the way we do business, having a specific and clearly defined purpose – our members – ensures these issues will never cloud our judgment.
This year, Basin Electric’s board refocused its commitment to that purpose. From reviewing our Statement of Ideals and Objectives, our mission statement and our board policies, the board clearly worked to define the course for Basin Electric. It’s imperative that we are all on the same page about who we are and where we’re going, and we believe we’re on the right track.
In a year like 2015 where Basin Electric marked a number of defining milestones and evolutions in the way we operate, having a clear path and transparent goals has never been more important.
In October, we completed our integration into Southwest Power Pool (SPP) after years of study and evaluation with our membership. This pivotal move changes our relationship with the Western Area Power Administration Upper Great Plains Region, and while Western will no longer dispatch our power, our relationship remains strong. While this was a complicated and challenging move for all parties, we were guided by doing the right thing for our membership.
We also made the pivotal decision to buy out of the Rural Utilities Service (RUS). Though our support for RUS and the valuable role it plays in rural America remains as strong as ever, a number of factors weigh into our decision, and buying out of RUS was most economical for Basin Electric.
It was a positive experience. As the finance team met with investors to procure debt previously held by RUS, the cooperative’s long-term wholesale power supply contracts with members and its favorable creditworthiness played vital roles in raising $1.5 billion, nearly double the original goal of $800 million: the largest generation and transmission cooperative U.S. private placement transaction to date.
Additionally, we’re pleased with how the Our Power, My Safety initiative is continuing to grow across the cooperative’s facilities. Employees are truly our greatest asset and we’re fully supportive of a continuous improvement process that puts our people first.
Unfortunately, the year wasn’t all positive. The Environmental Protection Agency threw a mighty blow in August when the agency announced its final Clean Power Plan rule, which limits carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from existing stationary power sources. The differences between the proposed rule and the final rule are preposterous, and eight of the 12 states hit the hardest are in our service territory. Quite simply, this rule is a threat to our members.
In response, we’ve begun working through the legal process, but we fully anticipate this fight will carry on for a number of year on all fronts – legally, legislatively and publically.
It’s a challenge, but we’ve faced them before and there will be others in the future. As long as we remain true to our values, our mission and our guiding force – our members – Basin Electric will continue to be a strong, stable cooperative for many, many years.
Wayne Peltier, President
Paul Sukut, CEO and general manager
A number of factors weighed into Basin Electric's decision to buy out of the Rural Utilities Service.
In October 2015, Basin Electric integrated into Southwest Power Pool, a regional transmission organization.
In May, Western Fuels Association and Basin Electric, as the operating agent for the six participants of the Missouri Basin Power Project, reached a settlement with BNSF Railway on a rate case dating back to 2004.