Basin Electric sees multiple management changes in Operations Department over past year

In the past year, Basin Electric’s Operations department has seen big changes, with new faces in six of its eight management positions.

Senior Vice President

Troy Tweeten is the department’s new senior vice president, beginning this position in May 2020. In this position, Tweeten is responsible for all generation assets, which includes coal- and natural gas-based power plants and wind projects, and mining operations, which include Dakota Coal Company and Montana Limestone Company, subsidiaries of Basin Electric, and Wyoming Lime Producers, a division of Dakota Coal.

Tweeten began work at Basin Electric’s Dry Fork Station near Gillette, Wyoming, in 2009 as operations supervisor, and was promoted to operations superintendent. In November 2017, he was promoted to plant manager at Laramie River Station near Wheatland, Wyoming. Prior to working for Basin Electric, Tweeten worked for PacifiCorp as a shift supervisor and Hettinger Welding as a superintendent.

Tweeten has an associate degree in power plant technology from Bismarck (North Dakota) State College. He is originally from Turtle Lake, North Dakota.

Plant Manager, Laramie River Station

Levi Mickelsen replaced Tweeten as the plant manager of Laramie River Station, where he is responsible for the management and safe, compliant, and efficient operation, maintenance, and betterment of the plant.

Micklsen grew up in Wheatland, Wyoming, the child of a father who worked at the plant since it began operating in 1980. He has a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Wyoming, and began his career at Laramie River Station two days after graduating from college. He began as a project engineer, then held the positions of results engineer and plant engineer before becoming plant manager in June 2020.

Manager, Distributed Generation

Joe Fiedler became the manager of distributed generation in December 2020. This position includes managing the safe and efficient operation and maintenance of Basin Electric’s generation peaking stations and wind projects to economically produce electricity to satisfy member needs.

Fiedler has an instrumentation and process control degree from St. Cloud (Minnesota) Community and Technical College. He began his career at Basin Electric in 1989 as an instrumentation apprentice at Leland Olds Station then completed the journeyman program. He spent a total of 19 years at Leland Olds Station before becoming the cooperative’s first new employee hired in the newly-created Distributed Generation Division, assisting with the construction, commissioning, start-up, and operation and maintenance of Culbertson Generation Station, Pioneer Generation Station, and Lonesome Creek Station.

Superintendent of Operations - Montana, North Dakota, and Wyoming

In March, Clyde Moch became the superintendent of operations for North Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming for Basin Electric’s distributed generation sites. In this role, he is responsible for safety, power generation compliance, and power plant availability.

Moch received an industrial electronics degree with an emphasis in instrumentation from the North Dakota State College of Science. He worked in various jobs in industrial plant settings before being hired at Basin Electric’s Groton Generation Station in 2007. He assisted with the construction, commissioning, and start-up of Groton Generation Station and Lonesome Creek Station before accepting his current position. 

Moch is a native of the Hazelton, North Dakota area.

Plant Manager, Leland Olds Station

Jason Cowan became plant manager of Basin Electric’s Leland Olds Station in March.

Cowan was born and raised in Hemingford, Nebraska, moving to the Wheatland, Wyoming, area as a teenager.

He joined the United States Navy in 2000, serving after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks guarding nuclear submarines and overseas during Operation Enduring Iraqi Freedom.

After six years in the military, Cowan was hired as a laborer at the coal yard at Laramie River Station. He began a mechanical apprenticeship, then transitioned to a mechanic position. He has also served as a maintenance planner, warehouse supervisor, and in the maintenance department as the planning and scheduling supervisor.

His education includes power plant technology and mechanical maintenance from Bismarck (North Dakota) State College and he is currently working toward a business degree and a master’s of business administration.

Manager, Dakota Coal Company and Montana Limestone Company

Randy Banning began his duties as manager of Dakota Coal and Montana Limestone in March.

In this role, he is responsible for working with North American Coal, which supplies coal to Basin Electric’s North Dakota coal-powered facilities, and the plants that supply lime and limestone to the coal plants for their environmental controls.

Banning is from Rapid City, South Dakota, where he attended college at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, receiving a degree in mining engineering.

His first job out of college was at Wedron Silica in Illinois. He moved back to South Dakota, where he worked as a project engineer for Pete Lien & Sons, the company that operates Frannie Lime Plant, owned by Wyoming Lime Producers. After accepting the position as construction manager, he stayed on as the plant manager for Wyoming Lime Producers for 24 years. After a four-year hiatus to help build a lime plant in Laramie, Wyoming, he became the superintendent of Montana Limestone for a year and a half before accepting his current position.

In addition to the six newest hires, Basin Electric's Operations management team includes Chad Edwards, plant manager of Antelope Valley Station, and Tom Stalcup, plant manager of Dry Fork Station.