Basin Electric reorganizes, searches for two new senior vice presidents

Basin Electric directors retire more than $13.2 million in patronage capital credits and implement a $15 million bill credit on members’ July 2022 wholesale power bill. (Basin Electric Power Cooperative Facebook)

GILLETTE, Wyo. — Basin Electric Power Cooperative CEO and General Manager Todd Telesz said new organizational changes will enable the cooperative to more effectively and more efficiently continue its strength in the industry and deliver value to its members.

A July 27 news brief said the cooperative plans to fill two new senior vice president level roles: a senior vice president and chief operating officer position and a senior vice president and chief technology officer position.

The COO will oversee Asset Management & Commodity Strategy, Engineering & Construction, Environmental Services, Operations, and Transmission. The CTO will oversee Information Services and Telecommunications and Security/Compliance.

The cooperative’s Government Relations now reports to Chris Baumgartner, senior vice president of Member Services & Administration. Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Todd Brickhouse leads Procurement and Resource Planning & Rates. Senior Vice President and General Counsel Mark Foss will oversee Internal Auditing.

Corporate Services, which includes Aviation, Facilities, and Records, will report to Miles McGrew, senior vice president and chief human resources officer, starting Aug. 1.

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“Our employees are our most valuable resource in meeting the needs of our members in providing reliable, affordable, and responsible energy,” Telesz said. “This realignment will elevate talents and ensure a collaborative and effective reporting structure to continue delivering value for our members and their communities.”

Basin Electric announced in June that Miles McGrew would become its senior vice president of human resources Aug. 1.

Basin Electric Power Cooperative members will also see a change this month. They’ll receive a $15 million bill credit on their July 2022 wholesale power bill, Basin Electric directors decided at their July board meeting. The directors authorized the retirement of more than $13.2 million in patronage capital credits.

“These actions are a result of Basin Electric’s strong financial performance, financial stability, and returning value to the membership,” Board President Wayne Peltier said in a July 27 statement. “Both actions are a testament to Basin Electric’s commitment to the cooperative principles and governance at a local level. The cooperative continues to maintain a stable financial profile and this aligns with our commitment to return value to our members.”

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Basin Electric seeks each year to retire about 1/30th of its total undistributed patronage capital as of the end of the prior year, the news brief said. With this distribution, all capital credits through the year 2005 will have been retired. The undistributed patronage capital available for retirement is approximately $1 billion.

Basin Electric Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Todd Brickhouse said that in the past five years the board approved the distribution of nearly $167 million in capital credits. Members of cooperatives are entitled to the retirement of previously allocated, undistributed margins, he said. The cooperative assigns before-tax margins to members on a patronage basis and the board can decide when to retire the margins allocated in prior years, Brickhouse said. Members’ bill credits and patronage capital retirements now total more than $630 million since 2000.

The cooperative will notify members of their share of the patronage capital credit retirement, which is determined based on their power purchases during 2005, the year the patronage was originally allocated. Capital credits will be distributed this week.

The bill credit will appear on members’ July 2022 power bill, which will be issued in August.

Basin Electric generates and transmits electricity to 131 member rural electric systems in nine states, which include Wyoming. Wyoming members are Big Horn Rural Electric Company, Carbon Power & Light, Garland Light & Power Company, High Plains Power Inc., High West Energy, Members 1st Power Cooperative, Niobrara Electric Association, Powder River Energy Corporation, Wheatland Rural Electric Association and Wyoming Municipal Power Agency.