President's Message

Wayne Peltier, Basin Electric president.

Our theme this year is Cooperative Strong. And we are strong. Basin Electric’s membership is growing – and thriving – largely thanks to the reliable and affordable electricity we provide. The main goal of cooperative G&Ts like Basin Electric is to develop generation for rural America. That is something we have done since day one and continue to this day. As we speak, crews are building the largest single-site new generation in North Dakota since the early ‘80s. We are also working on a major transmission buildout that will help ensure that our members – and rural America – can rely on our system for years to come.

2022 brought conditions that led to financial strength at both Basin Electric and Dakota Gas, seeing margins far beyond what was budgeted. Last year, you voted on a bylaw change that addressed the “rate stability fund,” an important resource to help absorb cost shocks and avoid unexpected rate increases. Thank you for supporting that change; however, we knew that last year’s change was only temporary and we will vote again this afternoon to further define the parameters of our cooperative’s rate stabilization fund. 

The rate stability fund was one of the topics discussed during our annual visits with ratings agencies in New York early this year. When we explained the fund and what its intentions are, agency staff smiled – something I don’t think I’ve ever seen in all the years I’ve participated in these visits.

The ratings agencies see the rate stabilization fund and the long-term all-requirements contracts we have with our members as major strengths, and as a result the agencies reaffirmed our ratings. In fact, Moody’s went one step further and upgraded our outlook from stable to positive. Why does this matter? It helps lower the cost of borrowing money, which makes building generation and transmission more affordable for our cooperative family.

The cooperative business model is built on grassroots governance. It is end-use consumers who drive the direction of our co-op. Two prime examples are the Resolutions and Bylaws Committees, which are made up of representatives of each of our 11 districts. These committees meet multiple times every year to ensure the co-op is moving in the direction our members want. I’d like to thank the members of these committees for their hard work over the past year. 

In addition to these committees, every Basin Electric board member is an end-use consumer and governs knowing that the decisions they make will impact not only themselves, but also their friends and neighbors.

On behalf of the board I would like to take this time to recognize our employees, who are the backbone of the cooperative. There is no question that we wouldn’t be where we are today without their hard work and dedication to the membership. I know I speak for the entire board when I say we couldn’t be happier with our staff and their leadership.