President and General Manager's Message

two men standing in a boardroom
Basin Electric President Wayne Peltier and CEO and General Manager Todd Telesz

The cooperative business model has served Basin Electric and its members well for over 60 years.

The service we provide rural America is essential — reliable, affordable, responsible electricity. Together we work hard every day delivering on the commitment to our members, and you’ll find evidence throughout this annual report, driven by technology and a fuel-diverse generation portfolio, expectations for how we will serve our growing membership, and solid credit ratings from the three rating agencies. That said, the value we provide our members as an electric cooperative lies beyond the work we do to power the membership. Our history is full of relationships built and maintained, communities boosted and supported, and people who knit a colorful tapestry holding our family together.

Each month, Basin Electric’s directors come together around the boardroom table to discuss the challenges and opportunities that impact every member in our service territory. Their perspective on how this cooperative can serve our communities is local and homegrown; every one of our directors is and must be an end-use consumer, elected by fellow members. Very intentionally, this governance creates a line from the end-use consumer turning on their light switch to making decisions about the wholesale generation and transmission side of the business. Basin Electric’s governance structure and the cooperative business model have guided us since our founding, central to the cooperative’s very existence and what drives the unique value we bring to the people we serve.

In this way, our governance has proven itself pure and effective. Not only do our directors meet monthly, spending the time needed to understand the issues and decisions that come before them and form the trust within their group helpful in having spirited discussions, but they meet just as often with their member cooperative boards. They live in the same communities they are elected to represent and therefore are personally invested in the decisions they make because they know they will be affected right alongside their neighbors. They are accountable to and reside among the people who make up our membership of 3 million consumer-owners.

The Basin Electric team keeps the lights on for our consumer-owners and products shipping out of the Great Plains Synfuels Plant across rural America, and makes our board of directors proud. Our team of employees understands the members we serve are priority. Every decision we make is framed through the lens of the best interest of our members: the farmer in eastern Montana who needs reliable irrigation for his barley crop, the single mom in western South Dakota who needs affordable electricity to keep her family safe and secure, and the industrial facilities throughout our service territory that power their local economies. We’re driven to serve all with a dedication to responsible energy sources.

Basin Electric has operated as a consumer-owned and -controlled organization for more than half a century and has done so successfully by keeping a laser-focus on the member at the end of the line. Our history of stewardship, innovation, and adaptability is recorded not only in history books, but also in the lives our members have helped to change.

As we look toward our future, we know the foundation first set 60 years ago will continue to serve us. Basin Electric was built through good fortune and the grit found in necessity. Our geographical diversity combined with the operational scale of our generation portfolio and transmission infrastructure, and our financial strength have positioned us well to successfully navigate the challenges and opportunities to come.

Member feature: Geis Ranch


Gerry and Gwen Geis own a cattle and sheep ranch in a family partnership near Gillette, Wyoming, and are members of Powder River Energy Corporation, a Basin Electric Class C member.

Read the member feature: Geis ranch