Basin Electric, members discuss strength of the cooperative at 2023 annual meeting

Todd Brickhouse
Basin Electric Interim CEO and General Manager Todd Brickhouse addresses attendees to the cooperative's 2023 Annual Meeting. 

Nearly 900 member cooperative employees, directors, public officials, utility representatives, and guests attended Basin Electric’s 2023 Annual Meeting of its membership on Aug. 16. The meeting focused on the many benefits of being part of the Basin Electric cooperative family.

“Cooperative Strong” was chosen as the theme for Basin Electric’s 62nd Annual Meeting to highlight that there is strength in numbers and every member is responsible for making the cooperative strong.

Basin Electric’s focus is providing reliable, affordable, and responsible energy for its 141 members spanning nine states. The meeting’s speakers reviewed Basin Electric’s current operations, financial strength, and continued commitment to its members.

The cooperative’s board President Wayne Peltier, representing Basin Electric member Minnesota Valley Cooperative Light and Power Association in Montevideo, Minnesota, talked about the cooperative’s value to its members. “Our theme this year is Cooperative Strong. And we are strong,” Peltier said. “Basin Electric’s membership is growing – and thriving – largely thanks to the reliable and affordable electricity we provide. The main goal of cooperative generation and transmission (G&T) cooperatives like Basin Electric is to develop generation for rural America. That is something we have done since day one and continue to this day.”

Basin Electric Interim General Manager and CEO Todd Brickhouse focused on the three cooperative-wide goals that have been developed to effectively serve its member-owners. “I can proudly say there is only one Basin Electric,” Brickhouse said. “As the largest G&T in the country and one of the largest electric utilities, we have an obligation to ourselves, to our members, and to our industry to do things safely, reliably, and affordably.” Brickhouse invited three of the cooperative’s executives to the stage to address the three goals: safety, reliability, and affordability.

Miles McGrew, Basin Electric senior vice president and chief human relations officer, addressed the safety goal. “The smartest people on earth and the best companies in the world all acknowledge the importance of safety in the workplace,” he said. “It is and must always be a core value. Our safety metrics are well on their way to being numbers we can be proud of, but safety is about more than numbers and metrics. It’s about people, and our true goal is to make sure our employees go home safely to their families at the end of every day.”

Gavin McCollam, Basin Electric senior vice president and chief operating officer, addressed reliability and said, “The men and women who are on the front lines of our reliability efforts, and by that, I mean the people who operate and maintain your generation and transmission assets, work very, very hard to keep those assets online. That is our ultimate goal and my personal commitment to all of you – that we will do everything we can to keep reliability simple, so that when you flip the switch, the lights come on.”

Katrina Wald, Basin Electric interim vice president and CFO, highlighted the strong year the cooperative had financially in 2022 and how that impacts affordable rates “Basin Electric creates value by investing in assets and in people, our most important asset,” she said. “Basin Electric also creates value by mitigating risks and returning value to our members through bill credits and the distribution of capital credits. All of these factors are important in maintaining stable and affordable rates.”


  • Basin Electric’s operations team served on the Reliability to Thrive panel which highlighted the importance of reliability and how Basin Electric provides reliable electricity to its members.
  • The Member Strong panel featured members from the cooperative’s service area.
  • The keynote speaker was Dr. Bjorn Lomborg. Lomborg is president of the Copenhagen Consensus Center where he works with the world’s top economists to find and promote the most effective solutions to the world’s greatest challenges, from disease and hunger to climate and education. Lomborg talked about challenging mainstream concerns about development and the environment, and pointed out that attention should focus on the smartest solutions first.
  • Gov. Mark Gordon spoke about the importance of maintaining all-of-the-above energy strategy. He also talked about the state’s support of the technological advances in energy development, including the work being done at the Wyoming Integrated Test Center (ITC) and Wyoming CarbonSAFE projects located at Basin Electric’s Dry Fork Station near Gillette, Wyo.
  • U.S. Sens. Kevin Cramer (R-ND), John Hoeven (R-ND), and Steve Daines (R-MT) participated in a panel discussion in support of the energy industry. Topics such as policy implications for reliability, 45Q and its continued bipartisan support, EPA regulations, and tax credits enacted by the Inflation Reduction Act were discussed by the senators.
  • President and CEO of the Bismarck Mandan Chamber EDC Brenda Nagel provided a welcome to meeting attendees.
  • The event featured business and cooperative booths:
    • West Central Electric Cooperative’s Manager of Member Services Jessie Tucker visited with attendees about his experience driving a 2023 electric Ford F-150 Lightning pickup from Murdo, South Dakota, to the event.
    • Basin Electric’s Engineering & Construction team displayed information on current construction projects, including Pioneer Generation Station Phase IV, the cooperative’s largest single-site generation project since the 1980s and 350 miles of high-voltage transmission line, a nearly $725 million investment to maintain reliability.

More information including reports, video, and social media feeds can be found at or through #Basin2023.

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