New renewable energy and progress on environmental initiatives in 2020 for Basin Electric

wind project
Wilton Wind Energy Center in North Dakota.


New renewable power projects and achievements of environmental milestones topped 2020’s list of accomplishments for Basin Electric Power Cooperative and its member cooperatives.

Basin Electric, which serves 140 cooperatives throughout a nine-state region, began taking power and signed additional purchase power agreements for approximately 500 megawatts (MW) of new energy from wind and solar as the cooperative continues an all-of-the-above energy strategy based on energy diversity, reliability, and environmental stewardship.

“Our energy mix at Basin Electric continues to evolve and become more diverse,” said Basin Electric CEO and General Manager Paul Sukut. “We have long-standing, reliable baseload resources that give us flexibility to grow our renewable portfolio.”

New project highlights in 2020 include:

This was also a year that saw progress in environmental initiatives for Basin Electric and its members. In November, the Great Plains Synfuels Plant, owned by Basin Electric subsidiary Dakota Gasification Company, near Beulah, North Dakota, reached a new milestone of 40 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) captured over the life of the facility.

In March, the Wyoming Integrated Test Center, located at Basin Electric’s Dry Fork Station in Gillette, Wyoming, received a climate leadership award for work in carbon capture and sequestration. All five teams involved in the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE competition associated with the Integrated Test Center are now compiling their results, and winners are expected to be announced in 2021. 

The Wyoming CarbonSAFE Project, also located at Dry Fork Station, officially launched Phase 3 in October. CarbonSAFE (Carbon Storage Assurance Facility Enterprise) is among 13 original carbon capture, utilization, and storage project sites in the U.S. Funding for Phase 3 of the project was approved in April, when the University of Wyoming’s School of Energy Resources and its partners received a $15.4 million award from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory.  

“As an electric cooperative, we have always pursued environmental initiatives for the benefit of our members. Renewable power purchases, CO2 research, and process improvements are consistent with past practices,” Sukut said.