At Basin Electric, our focus is the person at the end of the line. Our member-owners are the reason we exist. That's the co-op difference.
Rural electric cooperative pioneers in the Missouri River basin created Basin Electric in 1961 to provide supplemental wholesale power to their distribution cooperatives. Basin Electric's growth and success during the past 50-plus years is due to the commitment, support, and resolve of these visionary co-op leaders and their consumers.
Basin Electric's 11-member board of directors are elected by our members. These directors have been elected to the boards of their local distribution systems and then, with the exception of District 9, to their respective intermediate generation and transmission systems. Many of our Class A members are generation and transmission (G&T) electric cooperatives.
We do not sell electricity directly to consumers. Control and direction of Basin Electric begins with our member-owners who support the seven cooperative principles and are governed by the cooperative business model.
Basin Electric's member systems' service territories span 550,000 square miles from the Canadian to the Mexican borders. Our members constitute a vital network of generation, transmission and distribution systems that deliver electricity to 3 million consumers in parts of North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Montana, and New Mexico.
1. Open and voluntary membership
2. Democratic member control
3. Members' economic participation
4. Autonomy and independence
5. Education, training, and information
6. Cooperation among cooperatives
7. Concern for community
How does an electric G&T cooperative differ from an investor-owned utility? At Basin Electric, our net margin above expenses and reserves does not belong to the utility. It represents an increase in an investment that belongs to our consumer-owners. Basin Electric's margins must be used to improve or maintain operations, set aside in reserves, or distributed to the membership.