Guzman Energy has invested nothing in South Dakota while East River Electric and Basin Electric invest hundreds of millions
Guzman Energy, a for-profit energy broker with offices in Denver and Coral Gables, Florida, has made no investments in electric infrastructure in South Dakota, but is trying to lure local cooperatives away from their local wholesale power suppliers to profit off of South Dakota consumers.
Dakota Energy Cooperative’s board and management have filed a lawsuit against their wholesale power cooperative East River Electric Power Cooperative in an attempt to obtain a buyout number and leave a long-term contract they signed in 2015. East River Electric is a member-owner of Basin Electric Power Cooperative. Basin Electric provides generation and high voltage transmission services, and East River Electric provides the transmission and substation infrastructure to deliver power across the region.
There’s a steep contrast between the lack of investment in South Dakota by Guzman Energy and the hundreds of millions of dollars Basin Electric Power Cooperative and East River Electric have invested in generation plants, transmission lines and substations.
Basin Electric was created by and continues to be owned by South Dakota cooperatives and their members. Basin Electric employs 54 South Dakota-based employees, owns three generation stations in the state, owns and operates a large South Dakota wind farm and purchases electricity from several other South Dakota-based wind farms. Basin Electric invested $232.8 million in the Prairie Winds South Dakota wind farm near White Lake to bring at the time the largest cooperatively-owned wind farm in the country. Basin Electric invested $28.2 million in a generation unit called Spirit Mound Station located near Vermillion. The Groton Station is a natural gas generator in which Basin Electric invested $133.4 million to construct. And the Deer Creek Station is a natural gas plant located near White, S.D., that Basin Electric built at a cost of $392.9 million. Just the generation plants alone total $787.3 million in infrastructure investment in South Dakota. That doesn’t include the tens of millions of dollars in transmission lines and other infrastructure Basin Electric has built in the state. East River Electric has also invested just in the past 10 years about $250 million in infrastructure to serve its members.
The cooperative network was built here and members continue to support a strong cooperative network from the generation plants to the light switch that includes investing in our future right here at home.