Ranges at home on the range depend on Basin Electric Power Cooperative, as do other electric-powered items in nine states from Montana to Iowa to New Mexico. The consumer-owned power generation and transmission co-op provides power to 138 rural electric member systems, which serve about 2.8 million people. It had generating capacity of 5,478 MW (mostly coal-fired) in 2014. Basin Electric's subsidiaries include Dakota Gasification (which produces natural gas from coal), Dakota Coal (markets lignite and limestone), Basin Telecommunications (Internet access), Basin Cooperative Services (property management), PrairieWinds (wind power), and Souris Valley Pipeline (CO2 pipeline).
Basin Electric serves customers in Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. The enterprise's generation facilities are located in Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.
The company maintains about 2,250 miles of high-voltage transmission, 70 switchyards, and about 150 telecommunication locations. It generates about 990 MW for participants in the Missouri Basin Power Project (a group of six regional, consumer-owned energy entities that built the Laramie River Station in Wyoming). Its generation portfolio includes 4,913 MW of wholesale electric generating capacity.
In 2013 Basin Electric’s revenues grew by 12% due to higher members sales as a result of an increase in higher electricity resales.
The coop's net income decreased by 62% that year as the result of to higher operating expenses caused by an increase in depreciation and amortizations.
The company’s operating cash inflow decreased to $306.56 million in 2013 (from $354.18 million in 2012) due to lower net income and a change in working capital as a result of higher customer account receivables and inventories.
Basin Electric, like all power utilities, is under regulatory pressure to lower the carbon emissions from its power production. As part of its commitment to cleaner energy production, the company has established two wind power subsidiaries to build wind farms in the Dakotas.
In 2013 Basin Electric signed two power purchase agreements with California-based Infinity Wind Power associated with the development of two new wind projects in North Dakota with a combined capacity is 278 MW.
The company generated 437 MW of its total capacity of 482 MW of renewable energy in 2012 from wind power sources. That year, about 16% of Basin Electric's generating capacity came from renewable sources.
In 2011 Basin Electric opened the Crow Lake Wind Project (Nebraska) its largest renewable project to date, with 162 MW of power generating capacity. Basin Electric's operations are overseen by a 10-member board of directors elected by and representing individual membership districts. Dakota Gasification and Dakota Coal have separate boards.
The not-for-profit generation and transmission cooperative was formed in 1961.