A stable power supply network guided the people of South Dakota through an unprecedented energy emergency this past February thanks to the steady hands of the Western Area Power Administration and Basin Electric Power Cooperative.
We're fortunate to live in an area where electric cooperatives have always worked together with their power suppliers to serve their members, and that continued collaboration led to very few consumers in our region feeling any impact of rolling power outages.
I would like to thank the dedicated employees at the Western Area Power Administration and Basin Electric for their tireless work throughout the storm, which was an extremely stressful situation for all involved. Employees at those two organizations made split-second decisions to make sure that the electric grid stayed intact to prevent widespread outages that could've taken days to repair.
The East River Electric Power Cooperative family has received power from WAPA and Basin Electric since the Missouri River dams were constructed and Basin built its first power plant, and both organizations continue to serve the cooperative family with reliable power.
Because East River Electric and our member systems rely on a large network that spreads risk and takes advantage of economies of scale, we were spared from the devastation seen in places like Texas. Although WAPA and Basin Electric realized some financial impact of high wholesale energy market prices, it could've been much worse.
Because both entities also sell energy on the market from their own generation units, they were shielded from the disastrous impact felt by other utilities across the country that were overexposed to market pricing. By working together, the consumers in our region who are owners of the electric cooperative family can rest assured that their entire cooperative supply network will be there for them when they need it most.
Madison, March 23