August PDF of Cooperative Connections

Page 1

West River Electric August 2019 Vol. 20 No. 4

Co-op Solar Projects Shine On Page 8

Ethanol Enthusiasm Page 12


What West River Electric Has Learned About

Solar Projects

It’s summertime and the temperatures are finally warming up. It looks like the hay crop is about as good as it ever could be if we can get it all put up between rain showers. There is about as much of that good ol’ yellow sweet clover as I have seen in years. The Cheyenne River Valley is really lit up. I love the yellow color but hate the pollen. I also hate to think of later this summer and fall when all that clover dries out. It will become a very high fire hazard. I know in the past, we have had to curtail some of our work because we didn’t want to drive our vehicles in the tall, dry clover for fear of starting a fire. Fire will not only damage your grass but also burn up our equipment. We will see what the future brings.

Dick Johnson

Large utility scale solar projects are being talked about more in our area.

All this warm sun gets people talking about solar power. You will notice later in this Coop Connections edition stories on coop solar and what we have learned. It should be interesting information. I believe I have talked about our past discussions on our involvement in a small community solar project. The Board and staff discussed what we wanted to do. We did a solar survey about a year ago and the results didn’t show much support from the membership for doing anything. Most members were for community solar if it helped lower their bills. A cost benefit analysis would show that there would not be a lowering of a members bills once you factor the cost of the solar system into the calculations. I believe strongly that solar will be the wave of the future, just maybe not right now. I have stated before that solar will get over the cliff when we have a reasonably priced battery or storage system we can call on during peak times or when the sun isn’t shining. Large utility scale solar projects are being talked about more in our area. I know there are plans in the making southeast of Hermosa and down around Hot Springs. These projects are becoming more viable with the lowering costs of panels. However, I would caution that much of the power cost reduction comes in the form of tax breaks. Those breaks are set to begin sun setting in 2020, so there is a concerted push to get solar projects sited and started by year end 2019. We have heard rumblings of a project near New Under10109500wood that could come to fruition as well. I have had many questions in the Wall area about the new Tesla electric car charging stations. I have seen cars there several times when I have gone by. For much of June, we have had at least 1 car a day; sometimes several cars a day. Only a Tesla electric car can charge there. Other brands would need to find another charging point. We have discussed internally installing stations for other brands of cars but have held off doing anything right now. A slower charging station that takes 6-8 hours would be a better solution for the other non-Tesla brands. Fast chargers like the Tesla chargers will charge in 30 minutes or less. Tesla does not charge most of their car owners for a re-charge; it was a part of the cost of the car. All other auto makers require an owner to pay for their recharges. Stay safe this summer and watch for fires when that clover dries out!


Cooperative Connections | August 2019

Enning area appreciation event at the Basketball Games at the Meade County Community Center.

JOIN THE FUN Appreciation Events Veronica Kusser

Member Appreciation Day in the Rapid City office will be September 13, 2019 from 11:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. We will be serving hamburgers and hot dogs. We will have RV Volunteer Fire Department, a heat pump representative, and bucket truck rides for anyone willing to take a ride. Katchup the Clown will be here entertaining kids young and old. We will have employees on hand to answer questions. WREA will be demonstrating safe electricity with the High Voltage Demonstrations and the Neon Leon Display. Mom get your camera ready, we have pole climbing for the kids. We will be presenting Operation Round-Up Checks to 2554500 the recipients of the funds for 2019. Come out and meet the Board of Directors and employees who are here to respond to your service needs.

80th Annual Meeting...Yes, 80 years ago we began serving the members of West River Electric. We can’t wait to see what the future brings. The Annual Meeting will be at the Wall Community Center, in Wall, SD on October 12, 2019. Registration begins at 9:00 a.m. with the business meeting beginning at 10:00 a.m. Lunch will be served at your favorite Wall restaurant following the meeting. Come out to get an update on what is happening at your coop. Hope to see your there!

Serving Hamburgers and Hot Dogs at the 2018 Rapid City Appreciation Day.

Bucket Truck Rides for the Youth and Adults at the Football Game in Wall in 2018.

Come and join us at our 6th Annual Tailgate Party...wait did I say 6th? Wow, time flies when you are having fun. We will be tailgating at New Underwood, when the New Underwood Tigers take on the Wall Eagles. We will be at the football field ready to serve from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on October 18, 2019. Come out and cheer for your favorite team. We will have employees and directors on hand to serve you hamburgers and hot dogs, and answer all your questions. Enning, you all stay tuned. We will once again be planning something special for your area. More details on that when we have everything worked out. August 2019 | Cooperative Connections



Electrical Safety During Disasters

Come visit your Touchstone Energy® Cooperatives at one of these events!

Electricity drives the modern world and we often take it for granted. And if a natural disaster occurs, there’s a few things to remember to stay electrically safe during the storm. Before the storm hits, make sure to charge all phones and other communication devices. Then, unplug all electronics and move them as high as possible to avoid water damage from flooding. Turn off the main power breaker feeding the home to prevent any surges to the wiring and equipment. After the storm blows through, and you begin to evaluate the aftermath, it’s important to avoid flooded areas as they may be electrified. Do not use any electrical equipment or electronics if they’ve been submerged. If flooding has occurred, have the electrical system inspected by a qualified electrical inspector. If you’re using a generator, ensure a qualified electrician installed it and make sure to use a listed and approved transfer switch and GFCI protection. It’s a good idea to protect your home with carbon monoxide detectors. When venturing outside, be very alert of your surroundings. If you encounter a fallen power line, stay at least 35 feet away. Avoid touching any objects the line may be laying on such as a fence, a car, or a light pole as the object could be energized. If others are around, alert them to stay away and call 911. While storms can be devastating to a community, the aftermath can be challenging. However, could be an opportunity to renovate and upgrade your main power source with renewable energy such as solar. Floodwaters and heavy winds aren’t the only hazards during a storm. That’s why it’s important to treat electricity with extreme caution. Source: 4

Cooperative Connections | August 2019

Aug. 6-7 Gilfillan Estate 28269 MN-67 Morgan, MN Aug. 20-22 2300 E Spruce St. Mitchell, SD

Aug. 29-Sept. 2 1060 Third St. SW, Huron, SD

We’ll see you there! KIDS CORNER SAFETY POSTER

“Do not dig up electrical lines.” Luke Kangas, 9 years old

Luke is the son of Andrew and Gail Kangas, Lake Norden, S.D. They are members of H-D Electric Cooperative, Clear Lake, S.D. Kids, send your drawing with an electrical safety tip to your local electric cooperative (address found on Page 3). If your poster is published, you’ll receive a prize. All entries must include your name, age, mailing address and the names of your parents. Colored drawings are encouraged.

RECIPES Recipe and photo courtesy

Very Vegetarian Southwest Brunch Casserole 2 T. oil 1 medium onion, chopped 1 red bell pepper, chopped 1 (8 oz.) loaf Italian bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (5 cups) 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese 6 eggs 2 cups milk 1 tsp. chili powder 2 tsp. ground oregano 1 tsp. ground cumin 1 tsp. salt

Nutritional Information Per Serving: Calories 275, Total Fat 15g, Sodium 633mg, Cholesterol 121mg, Carbohydrates 21g, Protein 14g, Fiber 3g Pictured, Cooperative Connections

Black Bean Burgers 1-3/4 cups diced onion

2 T. seeded, minced jalapeno pepper (or pepper of choice)

3/4 tsp. salt 1-1/2 cups uncooked regular 2 large eggs, lightly beaten oats 3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

6 T. flour 5 T. pineapple juice 2 cans pineapple tidbits, drain, reserving juice

2 cups grated Cheddar cheese 1 stick butter, melted 1/2 cup cornflake crumbs

Mix together sugar, flour and pineapple juice. Add pineapple and cheese. Place in a greased casserole dish. Combine butter and cornflake crumbs; sprinkle over all. Bake at 350°F. until brown and bubbly. Serve hot or cold.

Bean ‘n’ Butter Bread 1 (15 oz.) can kidney beans

1 egg, beaten

1/3 vegetable oil

1 cup hot water

1/3 cup peanut butter

3 pkgs. yeast

1/3 cup molasses

4 cups all-purpose flour

3 T. sugar

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 tsp. salt

Egg white

Place first 7 ingredients in blender; blend until smooth. Pour into large mixing bowl. Stir in hot water. Combine yeast and 4 cups flour. Add to bean mixture, mixing well. Add wheat flour. Work in to form a stiff dough. Let rise 1-1/2 hours. Punch down and let rise 15 minutes. Shape into 2 loaves, placing on a greased cookie sheet. Mix egg white with 2 T. water for egg wash. Brush on loaves. Make 1/8-inch slash every 2-1/2 inches apart. Bake at 350°F. for 55 minutes. You may use crunchy peanut butter or add sunflower seeds. Anne Burleson, Lead, SD

1/4 cup all-purpose flour 1/4 cup cornmeal

In a large bowl, coarsely mash beans with a fork. Add next 6 ingredients; stir well. Shape into 8 patties. Combine flour and cornmeal in a pie plate; stir well. Dredge patties in mixture. Cook patties in a small amount of oil over medium-high heat until lightly browned – about 5 minutes on each side. Darcy Bracken, Hermosa, SD

1 cup sugar

Verna Nelson, Wakonda, SD

Heat oil in large skillet on medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper; cook and stir 3 minutes or until softened. Spread 1/2 of the bread cubes in 13x9-inch baking dish. Layer with 1/2 each of the onion mixture, beans, Cheddar cheese and Monterey Jack cheese. Repeat layers. Beat eggs in medium bowl until foamy. Add milk, chili powder, oregano, cumin and salt; beat until well blended. Pour evenly over top. Press bread cubes lightly into egg mixture until completely covered. Let stand 10 minutes. Bake at 350°F. for 40 to 50 minutes or until center is set and top is golden brown. Makes 12 servings.

3 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained

Baked Pineapple

Please send your favorite garden produce, pasta and slow cooker recipes to your local electric cooperative (address found on Page 3). Each recipe printed will be entered into a drawing for a prize in December 2019. All entries must include your name, mailing address, telephone number and cooperative name. August 2019 | Cooperative Connections



There are signs on all of our boxes denoting the Danger that lies inside. Obviously not every critter takes it seriously.

WHY NO METER READINGS June 20, 2019 Veronica Kusser

Our meters start sending in reads by 12:01 a.m. each morning. With all reads being received by 3:30 a.m. But the morning of June 20th, the Wicksville Sub was short readings. We had lost communication to all C Phase meters on the Wicksville Sub sometime before midnight. Communication was completely down. We went out to the sub the morning of the 20th and found the problem. A 3 1/2 foot Bull Snake tripped out a fuse in the RTU, causing communications to stop. The fuse 10446800 had to be replaced before communication could be restored. We were able to resume communications with the meters and retrieve reads by mid-day. Unfortunately for this 3 1/2 foot bull snake he found a small hole into our communications equipment and made his way thru the box until he found 480 volts of power shorting out the fuse. The mice and snakes tend to get into our enclosures for the warmth and protection. We do take precautionary measures by putting steel wool in any area that we see a need. 6

Cooperative Connections | August 2019


BOARD OF DIRECTOR ELECTION Petition Deadline August 13, 2019 West River Electric members interested in running for the board of directors may pick up a petition at any of our offices. Petitions must be filed no later than 5:00 p.m. August 13, 2019 at any of our three offices in Wall, Rapid City or Enning.

Voting will take place October 12, 2019 at the Wall Community Center in Wall, SD. In order to vote, members must be present at the Annual Membership meeting. The notice will be mailed to members prior to the meeting.

Three incumbent directors filed their notice to seek re-election to the Board of Directors of West River Electric Association.

If you have any questions about the nominating or petition process, please call the Wall office at 605-279-2135.

Jamie Lewis of Rapid City for District 1, Marcia Arneson of Rapid City for District 2 and Sue Peters of Wall for District 3 have all chosen to seek re-election to the Board of Directors of West River Electric at the October 12, 2019 Annual Meeting of the membership of West River Electric. Candidates must be members of the cooperative and reside in the district they are seeking election from, be in good standing with the cooperative and you or your spouse not be employed or financially interested in a competing enterprise or major supplier to the cooperative. Per Article V Section 4 of the bylaws of West River Electric a member may seek election to the Board of Directors of West River Electric by taking out a petition and have it signed by at least 15 members at least 120 days but not less than 60 days prior to the annual meeting. Petitions for making nominations for West River Electric Board of Directors may be picked up at any of our offices in Wall, Rapid City or Enning. Members elected as directors will serve a three-year term on the board. The directors you elect are responsible for establishing direction and policies assuring members needs and concerns are given fair and timely treatment, and for overseeing the overall financial stability of the cooperative.

3-Step HVAC Test As summer temperatures rise, so do electric bills. Follow these steps to test the efficiency of your HVAC unit. The outdoor temperature should be above 80 degrees, and you should set your thermostat well below the room temperature to ensure the system runs long enough for this test.

1. Using a digital probe thermometer (about $12), measure the temperature of the air being pulled into your HVAC filter. 2. Measure the temperature of the air blowing out of your A/C vent. 3. Subtract the A/C vent temperature from the HVAC filter temperature. You should see a difference of about 17 to 20 degrees. If the difference is less than 17 degrees, you may need a licensed technician to check the coolant. If the difference is greater than 20 degrees, your ductwork may need to be inspected for airflow restrictions.

August 2019 | Cooperative Connections



Central Electric’s Prairie Solar project can be seen in front of the co-op’s office along Betts Road west of Mitchell, S.D. On the Cover: Central Electric employees install the Prairie Solar project in 2015.

BRIGHT LESSONS Co-op Solar Projects Help Educate, Inform

Co-op members across the area are able to get firsthand information about solar energy straight from their electric cooperatives.

Bon Homme Yankton Electric Association installed its solar project in 2018 behind the co-op’s office in Tabor, S.D.

“There were a number of vendors in the region promoting various technologies. We wanted to provide accurate, real-time information to our members. Our role as a trusted energy expert made us want to educate ourselves on behalf of the members,” said Brian Jeremiason, manager of marketing and external relations at Lyon-Lincoln Electric Cooperative in Tyler, Minn. So, in late December 2015, Lyon-Lincoln Electric installed its 8.4 kW AC solar system. The small project was designed to match a typical residential load for the southwestern Minnesota cooperative. The project consists of 28, 400 watt panels, each measuring 52.5 inches by 78 inches. The entire array measures 45.5 feet by 28 feet. “It’s provided information about expected production versus actual production,” said Jeremiason, who noted that actual production for the system’s first three years has been “about 80 percent of what our vendor projected.” Aside from a few inverters that failed within the system’s first two years, Jeremiason said the system has been mostly maintenance free. An important lesson learned for the co-op was that companies in the industry tend to go out of business overnight. “Overall, while the financial payback is long, it’s been a benefit to the cooperative members as an educational tool,” said Jeremiason. 8 Cooperative Connections | August 2019

Central Electric Cooperative in Mitchell, S.D., also installed a solar project in 2015 to learn firsthand how to plan and construct such a project and also how well it would perform in the area around Mitchell. Similar to Lyon-Lincoln’s experience, the vendor the co-op used went out of business shortly after installation. Fortunately, there has been little maintenance or upkeep needed for the system.

Photo by Bob Felber/Bon Homme-Yankton Electric

Brenda Kleinjan

“The solar industry is still in its infancy and experiencing growth and change,” said Central Electric General Manager Ken Schlimgen. “As a result, the names in the industry come and go and the solar equipment you see today will be obsolete in a few years.”

INNOVATION Production of Central Electric’s solar project is indicated in black. The red and blue lines track the energy use of one member’s home during the same time.

Photo by Central Electric

One lesson the co-op learned was to double check with building requirements in your county. The ground-mounted system they installed required a Davison County building permit. A second lesson learned was the impact of cloud cover on the system. “Any type of cloud cover reduces the kilowatt hour production of the system,” said Schlimgen. “I believe the project has helped our employees better understand the equipment used in solar projects. We can also compare the production of our solar project and overlay that information onto a members actual consumption. This allows the member to better understand when a solar system would be offsetting their purchases and when they would still need to make purchases of electricity. Our solar project also helps to provide sizing information to members who are asking questions about installing solar,” said Schlimgen.

Photo by Brian Jeremiason/Lyon-Lincoln Electric

Central Electric’s Manager of Marketing and Member Services Patrick Soukup noted, “One of the biggest lessons that I had to learn is about time of use versus time of production. Once we overlaid the graphs together, it’s apparent how

solar works in our typical day and how important sizing the system to your needs would be.” While the co-op invested more than $32,000 in the system, the returns on the investment from an educational perspective have been worthwhile. “The investment we had and the data collected is just priceless,” Soukup said. Sioux Valley Energy in Colman, S.D., has the largest of the solar demonstration projects installed at its Brandon, S.D., service center. The cooperative constructed its 24.8-kilowatt project in April 2015 and had it operational by May 1 of that year. The project’s 80 panels were faced south, southwest and west, which allowed the co-op to examine how the orientations affected production. “The output is very close to what was

planned. The difference in the output from facing the panels three different directions has allowed us to learn about which orientation will better match up with a member’s usage patterns. The project was fairly easy to assemble,” said Ted Smith, Sioux Valley Energy’s director of engineering and operations. The entire array was installed for about $3 per watt. In the project’s first four years, it produced 126,201 kilowatt hours, with a projected payback of 16 to 20 years. (The estimated life of the array is between 30 and 50 years.) The new kid on the co-op solar block is Bon Homme Yankton Electric Association in Tabor, S.D, which installed its 5kw system in July 2018. The co-op publishes the project’s output each month in their magazine.

Solar panels at Lyon-Lincoln Electric Cooperative in Tyler, Minn., have helped the co-op answer members’ questions about the resource. August 2019 | Cooperative Connections


Sydney Shaw and Gavin Sandal were chosen to represent West River Electric on the 2019 Youth Tour to Washington D.C.

YOUTH TOUR 2019 REPORT IN What is Happening in Washington D.C.? Veronica Kusser Gavin Sandal, WREA Youth Tour Representative.

Gavin Sandal....I would like to start by thanking West River Electric for selecting me to participate in their yearly Youth Tour of Washington D.C. This was a great opportunity to meet new people while expanding my knowledge on American history and government first hand. On the 13th of June, two other kids and I left for Brandon Valley where we would meet the rest of the group from South Dakota. We then boarded a bus and headed to Minneapolis where we would stay the night. Early the next morning we boarded a plane to our first destination in Baltimore. After landing we went to tour Fort McHenry which was the birthplace of our National Anthem. This was a significant day to visit the fort because it was Flag Day. It was on a British ship during the bombardment of Fort McHenry that Francis Scott Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner, commemorating our flag as a symbol of freedom and resistance that the American soldiers sacrificed their lives to protect. After visiting Fort McHenry we boarded another bus that took us to our hotel in Washington D.C. Over the course of the next week, we would visit monuments, government buildings, and museums. One of my personal favorite stops was when we visited George Washington’s plantation at Mount Vernon and his final resting place. We were able to walk through his home and on paths that took us throughout the plantation. Another fascinating stop was


Cooperative Connections | August 2019


when we toured the American History museum at the Smithsonian. Even if you aren’t interested in history, the museum has so many things to look at ranging from cars to dresses that you are guaranteed to find something you are fascinated by.

having me represent my coop and for allowing me to go on this amazing trip. During this trip, I met many new people, visited many memorials and monuments, and increased my knowledge of American history.

During our stay in Washington we were given the opportunity to visit with politicians that represent our state such as John Thune, Mike Rounds, and Dusty Johnson. After watching the House of Representatives in session, Dusty Johnson found time to give us a private tour of the Capital and answer questions that we had on policy.

One of my favorite parts of this trip was meeting new people. I began the trip traveling five and a half hours with two individuals who I had previously known a little bit. Once we made it to Brandon Valley, a group of 38 of us boarded the bus to go to Minneapolis to catch the plane the next morning. That first bus ride was very quiet, but it didn’t take long for all of us to become best friends. Throughout the week, we all became a very tightknit group, and everyone was super easy to talk to. Anybody could talk to anybody, and everyone had a lot in common. Not only did I meet kids from South Dakota, but all over the United States as well. One of my favorite memories of the trip was a boat ride on the Cherry Blossom with South Carolina, Kansas, Hawaii, and Iowa. This boat ride gave all of us the opportunity to visit with kids from different parts of the US and gave us an idea of how different peoples’ lives are across our country. We also got to teach the kids from different states how to jitterbug so they could show their friends back home. At the end of the trip when we said goodbye, it was very bittersweet, and just about anyone would have wanted to spend just one more day with our new friends.

In all, this trip was a great experience. I met a lot of great people from all over the United States and made some good friends. I had good conversations with both of the West River Electric employees that brought us to and from Brandon Valley. They both commented on how well the co-op has treated them, and how much they enjoyed their jobs. Anyone considering applying for this next year should definitely do so. It was a great experience for me and was a chance to finally see where the laws are made that affect our everyday lives.! Sydney Shaw, WREA Youth Tour Representative.

Brenda and Jocelyn, along with four other chaperones, took us to see many important parts of our country’s history. Some of the favorite things we went to: the National Museum of American History, the Military Barracks, and Ford’s Theatre. At the American History museum, I saw many major parts of history including George Washington’s uniform, Abraham Lincoln’s top hat, and all the First Lady’s Inauguration dresses. The Military Barracks had a parade that demonstrated their dedication to the Marines. We also got the opportunity to see Vice President, Mike Pence, at this event. Ford’s Theatre really takes you back in time to when Abraham Lincoln was President and they explained the event of his assassination very well. On Tuesday we went to Capitol Hill where we got to tour the Capitol, experience the voting process, and meet with John Thune, Mike Rounds, and Dusty Johnson. Dusty Johnson took us on a private tour of the building and gave us a deeper history of our Capitol which was a very cool experience.

Sydney Shaw........I was selected to participate in the 2019 Rural Electric Youth Tour by West River Electric from June 13th to June 20th. I would like to start this passage by thanking WREA for

This trip will remain as one of my favorite memories. Anyone who gets the opportunity should take it because you will meet many amazing people and learn so much about US History. Thanks again to WREA for allowing me to go and to represent my coop.




Ethanol in South Dakota Courtney Deinert

Ethanol production continues to increase with a new large facility added every other year or so. The ethanol industry in South Dakota began a little more than 30 years ago when Jeff Broin and his family purchased a foreclosed ethanol plant in 1988 near Scotland, S.D. The Broin family had been distilling ethanol as a way to make a little extra money on the farm after the 1970s, when corn production cost more than producers could sell it for. By purchasing the plant, the family had an opportunity to expand their process. This initial plant near Scotland became the pilot for POET Biorefining and is currently one of 15 operating plants in the state. Last year, South Dakota ranked 6th nationally in ethanol production capacity and provided 7 percent of the nation’s total ethanol production. Rural South Dakotans know that in addition to providing an alternative fuel source, ethanol provides an additional market for corn producers. From 2002 to 2012, gross corn use for ethanol production increased from less than 10 percent to more than 40 percent (and the production process does kick back distiller grain to alleviate the need for corn and soybean meal for livestock). The same study claims for every 10 percent increase in ethanol production (or 1 billion gallons), average 12

About one-third, or 17 pounds, of every bushel of corn sent to an ethanol plant is used as livestock feed.

long-run corn prices increase by 2 percent to 3 percent (based on production from 2008-2013).

Impact on Electric Cooperatives Ethanol has also impacted local electric cooperatives. East River Electric Power Cooperative, a generation and transmission cooperative headquartered in Madison, S.D., includes a number of ethanol plants located within its system, and more than 11 percent of East River kilowatt hour (kWh) sales go to large ethanol production plants. “Ethanol production continues to increase – with a new large facility added every other year or so over the last 15 years,” says Michael Volker, manager of rates and treasury at East

Cooperative Connections | August 2019

Blender pumps at South Dakota gas stations offer drivers a variety of choices of ethanol blends.


Ethanol Plants in South Dakota City


Production Capacity MGY (million gallons/ year)

Operating Production

ABE South Dakota LLC




ABE South Dakota LLC







Glacial Lakes Energy LLC




Glacial Lakes Energy LLC







POET Biorefining – Big Stone LLC

Big Stone City



POET Biorefining – Chancellor LLC




POET Biorefining – Groton LLC




POET Biorefining – Hudson LLC




POET Biorefining – Mitchell LLC




POET Research Center




Red River Energy LLC




Redfield Energy LLC




Ringneck Energy & Feed LLC




Valero Renewable Fuels Co. LLC




Dakota Ethanol LLC

NuGen Energy LLC

River. Currently, there are new plants being constructed near Onida and Yankton, S.D. The plants specifically served by East River and its member cooperatives can produce more than 500 million gallons of ethanol per year and consume approximately 200 million bushels of locally grown corn.

Flex Fuels South Dakota is a national leader in its use of ethanol in the state vehicle fleet. In 2017, South Dakota ranked third nationally in the gallons of E85 consumed by state fleet (behind No. 1 Texas and No. 2 Maryland). Of the state fleet, approximately 65 percent use a blend of ethanol, from E15 to E85. In early 2019, Gov. Kristi Noem announced her intent to transition the state fleet to E30. For the public, there are 87 stations in South Dakota that offer E85 (ethanol-gasoline blends containing 51 percent to 83 percent ethanol). Of the stations, 41 include some mid-level blend such as E15 or E30.

While E85 can only be used in flex fuel vehicles (FFVs), the EPA approved the use of E15 (gasoline blended with up to 15 percent ethanol) in model year 2001 and newer cars, light-duty trucks, medium-duty passenger vehicles (SUVs) and all FFVs. This includes approximately nine out of 10 of the vehicles on the road today. On May 31, 2019, the EPA signed into action the rule allowing E15 to be sold

For the ethanol industry and farmers, this means greater market access — more ethanol demand over the long term as additional retailers begin offering E15.

Under Expansion MGY (million gallons/year)


year-round, including the summer months and peak driving season, rather than eight months out of the year. “For the ethanol industry and farmers, this means greater market access – more ethanol demand over the long term as additional retailers begin offering E15,” Brian Jennings, CEO of the American Coalition for Ethanol, responded after the EPA announcement. Consumers will also see E15 marketed as “Unleaded 88” at the gas pumps.

Byproducts According to ACE, about one third, or 17 pounds, of every bushel of corn sent to an ethanol plant is used as livestock feed. The kernels of corn are made of starch, protein and fiber. The protein stays in the food supply in the form of a high-quality feed called DDGS (Dry Distillers Grains with Soluables.) The concentrated corn protein is a high-value feed product for cattle, hogs and poultry. The ethanol production process uses only the corn’s starch (carbohydrates.)

August 2019 | Cooperative Connections



WREA HIRES LINEMEN Cameron Price Cameron Price is from Placerville, CA. He graduated from High School in 2010. He then worked at a frozen yogurt and donut shop while training with the US Snowboard Team. He attended University of Nevada, Reno before going to Northwest Lineman College where he graduated from in 2013. He started out building substations in Dickinson, ND for Addison Construction and came to West River Electric where he was 2247403 a summer intern for the summers of 2016 and 2017. He joined the Rapid City linecrew in June. Cameron enjoys snowboarding, hunting, fishing and spending time with Phoenix and Chile, his two dogs. Welcome Cameron!

Tucker Hohn Tucker Hohn is from Mitchell High School where he graduated with the class of 2018 as a Mitchell Kernel. He spent considerable time racing dirt bikes, riding and training in Texas for some time. Tucker took Powerline Construction and Maintenance during his senior year of high school, allowing him to graduate in 2018 from Mitchell Tech. He came to West River Electric as a summer intern in 2018. He then worked for Highmark Erectors working on substations in the Watford City, ND area and then High West Energy out of Cheyenne. Tucker enjoys riding dirt bikes, motorcycles, snowboarding, fishing and hunting in his spare time. Good Luck Tucker.

West River Electric’s Annual Meeting will be October 12, 2019 POLES FOR SALE $1.00 a Foot

Contact Brendan Nelson or Mike Oyen at the Rapid City office to get used power poles for $1.00 a foot. West River Electric, 3250 E Hwy 44, Rapid City, SD, 393-1500. Limited quantity of poles available.

Know what’s below call 811 before you dig


Cooperative Connections | August 2019

Don’t post signs on our poles! Posting signs and announcements on utility poles not only presents DANGER to WREA linemen, it is against the law. Please don’t post your signs or posters on our utility poles. If you see announcements affixed to a pole, please feel free to remove them, but remember to pry the nails, staples & tacks out of the poles as well.

Use South Dakota 811 to locate underground utilities before you dig. Excavators planning to dig, drill or trench should make the required locate request to South Dakota 811 two working days before the planned work. Homeowners and landowners planning their own excavation activities are required to notify South Dakota 811 as well.


West River Electric will be closed

Tuesday Afternoon, August 27, 2019 Please call 279-2135 or 393-1500 in the event of an outage or other emergency. Our calls are answered 24/7.

Our Mission: West River Electric Association, Inc. shall strive to continually improve customer service and satisfaction by providing safe, reliable, efficient and reasonably priced electricity and services, while leading in the development of our community for the well being of our members.

Energy Efficiency Tip of the Month Routinely replace or clean your air conditioner’s filter. Replacing a dirty or clogged filter can reduce your air conditioner’s energy 10563900 consumption by 5 to 15 percent.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Board President: Andy Moon

Did you change your phone number or email It is important to keep your information updated with West River Electric. We would like to be able to keep you updated on planned outages or other important information that may affect your service. Contact us at 279-2135 or 393-1500 to make changes to your information.

Locate Your Account Number If you locate your account number anywhere in this issue of the West River Electric Cooperative Connections you will be a winner. There will be five account numbers placed randomly throughout the Connections. If you spot your account number and notify our office before the 10th of the next month, you will receive a $10 credit on your next bill.

West River Electric Office Hours Rapid City Office

Wall Office

3250 E Hwy 44, Rapid City, SD Monday-Friday 7:00 am-5:00 pm 605-393-1500

1200 W 4th Ave, Wall, SD Monday-Friday 7:00 am-5:00 pm 605-279-2135

A night depository is available at both offices for your convenience.

(USPS No. 675-840)

Board of Directors Stan Anders – Vice President Jamie Lewis – Secretary Larry Eisenbraun – Treasurer Jerry Hammerquist Howard Knuppe Marcia Arneson Chuck Sloan Sue Peters CEO and General Manager: Dick Johnson – Editor Veronica Kusser – WEST RIVER ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE CONNECTIONS is the monthly publication for the members of West River Electric Association. Members subscribe to Cooperative Connections as part of their electric cooperative membership for $6 a year. West River Electric Cooperative Connections purpose is to provide reliable, helpful information to electric cooperative members on matters pertaining to rural electrification and better living. Nonmember subscriptions are available for $12 per year. Periodicals Postage paid at Wall, S.D., and at additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to West River Electric Cooperative Connections, PO Box 412 , Wall, SD 57790-0412. Other correspondence to: West River Electric Cooperative Connections, PO Box 3486, Rapid City, SD 57709; telephone (605)393-1500, Exts. 6519, 6517, 6531 or 6522; fax (605)3930275; e-mail

August 2019 | Cooperative Connections



July 25

August 16-18: Black Hills Threshing

Summer Nights, Trucker Radio, 7th Street in Downtown, Rapid City, SD,

Bee, Sturgis SD, 605-490-2024

July 25

Playdays, Rodeo Grounds, Wall, SD, 605-685-4166

July 29

Movie Under the Stars, Finding Dory, Main Street Square, Rapid City, SD, 605-716-7979

August 1

Photo courtesy:

Summer Nights, Slamabama, 7th Street in Downtown, Rapid City, SD

August 1 and 8

Playdays, Rodeo Grounds, Wall, SD, 605-685-4166

August 5

Movie Under the Stars, Ralph Breaks The Internet, Rapid City, SD, 605-716-7979

August 7

Buffalo Chips Rusty Wallace Charity Ride, Main Street Square, Rapid City, SD, 605-716-7979

August 8

Summer Nights, Crash Wagon, 7th Street in Downtown, Rapid City, SD

August 12

Movie Under the Stars, Lego Movie, Rapid City, SD, 605-716-7979

August 15

Summer Nights, Zeona Road, 7th Street in Downtown, Rapid City, SD,

August 16-23

Central States Fair, Fairgrounds, Rapid City, SD

August 19

Movie Under the Stars, Hotel Transylvania 3, Rapid City, SD, 605-716-7979

August 20-22

August 29-September 2 South Dakota State Fair, Huron, SD, 605-353-7340

September 5

Dakotafest, Mitchell, SD, 877-611-8161

Day of Caring, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, Rapid City, SD, 605-343-5872

August 22

September 12

Summer Nights, Outer Vibe, 7th Street in Downtown, Rapid City, SD,

August 27

WREA will be closing at 11 a.m. in Enning and Wall and Noon in Rapid City for Employee Training, Call 605-279-2135 or 605-393-1500 for an outage or other emergency

August 29

Summer Nights, Brandon Jones, 7th Street in Downtown, Rapid City, SD,

Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, Rapid City, SD, 605-394-4111

September 12

Day of Caring, Auditorium/ Armory, Sturgis, SD, 605-343-5872

September 13

Lewis Black, The Joke’s On Us Tour, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, Rapid City, SD, 605-394-4111

September 14-15

Harvest Festival, Delmont, SD, 605-505-0535

September 19

Northern Hills Day of Caring, Spearfish Holiday Inn, Spearfish, SD, 605-343-5872

September 21

Walk to End Alzheimer’s, Memorial Park, Rapid City, SD, 605-339-4543

September 24

Southern Hills Day of Caring, Crazy Horse Memorial, Custer, SD, 605-343-5872 To have your event listed on this page, send complete information, including date, event, place and contact to your local electric cooperative. Include your name, address and daytime telephone number. Information must be submitted at least eight weeks prior to your event. Please call ahead to confirm date, time and location of event.

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