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West River Electric March 2018 Vol. 18 No. 11

Where Renewable Energy Gets Its Power Page 8-9

Sensing a Healthy Electric Grid Page 12


What’s in store for WREA Members

2018 Work Plan

The Super Bowl hype is over and my Vikings got beat in the NFC championship game again. As a Vikes fan, I am used to a lot of pain. On to college basketball; go Jacks!!! One question I had was regarding the new tax plan recently passed by Congress. The SD PUC had opened a docket regarding utility companies and what they were going to do to pass the tax savings on to their consumers. This docket has no effect on us. Some of you may ask why. As a reminder, we are a non-profit cooperative, therefore we pay no income tax. Our non-profit cooperative model provides that any excess of income over expenses is returned to the members of the cooperative through capital credits. The PUC is targeting the investor owned utilities to make sure some of the savings comes back to their consumers and not all back to their stock investors.

Dick Johnson General Manager

New re-built Box Elder Substation is nearly ready to be energized.

We recently approved our work plan for 2018. It will be another very busy year. Our budget estimate the Board approved was $8.6 million in capital expenditures. Approximately 1/3 of that total is for new services, transformers, meters, and upgrades to existing services. Internally we have a few things we are upgrading in technology driven by the constant changes in that field. We have in the budget to replace some of the older, small bucket trucks and a new digger truck. As Mike had in a previous Coop Connections article, these are expensive items. They run from $165,000 to $230,000 each. It takes many kilowatt hours of sales to cover the cost of those items. The newly re-built Box Elder substation is nearly ready to be energized. With that rebuild, we had several new circuits out of that sub that we had to rebuild. Many of you in the Box Elder area have seen our contract crews working in that area all fall and during the winter. Thanks for your patience. This year we have projects that we will be working on in the Middle Alkali area, on Jolly Lane, Deadwood Avenue to Haines Avenue line, Southside area, and Elk Vale road rebuild. We have a large project in the Enning area to relocate and rebuild about 19 miles of 3 phase line. We are moving it north to follow Highway 34 to allow us easier access to the line in situations when needed. The current route would still work, but it was in areas that are difficult to access anymore. The line is also very old and unreliable. If you have property in the above areas, our staking department may be contacting you for an easement to construct our line on the edge of your property. So far we have had very good luck in securing easements. Thanks to all those members who have responded, I greatly appreciate your willingness to help us out and keep costs down. If we end up in the public right of way, and there are ever changes in that right of way that require us to move our infrastructure, we have to pay for the changes. If you signed an easement allowing us to go on your property, and there are changes in the public right of way that spill over into our private right of way easement, the State or County will pay for us to move our infrastructure.10640500 Finally I would like to extend my condolences to the family of Thor Sautter who passed away January 25. Thor was the Manager at West River for 20 years. Thor’s leadership during some difficult times helped position the cooperative to be as strong as it is now. I never had the opportunity to work with Thor, but I heard many stories about his vision of the future. Until next time, remember to stay safe during these cold days and heading into the busy spring season.


Cooperative Connections | March 2018

Line Trucks are an essential part of the equipment used by the linemen at West River.

LINE TRUCKS What do we use them for? Mike Letcher info@westriver.coop

The backbone of the WREA fleet is the line truck, sometimes called a service truck. It is a one ton chassis with dual tires and a fiberglass or aluminum utility box. They are typically diesel powered with automatic transmissions and four wheel drive. In addition to the utility box, they have several custom made racks/boxes for storage of tools and equipment the lineman use on a daily basis. These are the trucks the lineman Line Trucks are used use daily for almost all of their daily for almost all of tasks. They have the linecrew tasks to several modificakeep the power on. tions including heavy duty pintle hitches for towing trailers as well as pulling, or being pulled, when they get stuck. They are equipped with skid plates for off road use as well as custom made bumpers with winches and heavy duty tow hooks. The cab has a spotlight, two way radio, cell phone booster, GPS transmitter, and power inverter. We typically have $80-90,000 invested in the truck (minus tools and material) by the time it is ready to go to work. The utility box and other racks/boxes house all the tools and

material the linemen will need to perform their daily tasks, including responding to outages. A few of the tools on the trucks are: belt and hooks, ropes, blocks, chains, shovels, frost bars, hand tools, battery powered splicing and cutting tools, cordless drill/driver, bolt cutters, pipe wrenches, torches, hoists, line grips, handlines, ladder, transformer gins, block and tackle, volt meters, rotation meters, high voltage testers, hot sticks, personal grounds, rubber gloves/sleeves/blankets, fire extinguishers, first aid kits, flashlights, and spec books/other information. Along 2553902 with all the tools and equipment, they carry line hardware such as bolts, insulators, all size connectors, various sizes of wire, splices, and a spare meter or two. Surprisingly there is still room for the linemen to carry what they need for the specific job they are doing any particular day. They are a well-stocked vehicle capable of handling most any situation without the need to return to the shop for equipment or material. This helps us to be more efficient as well as keeping outage times to a minimum. March 2018 | Cooperative Connections



Generator Safety Portable or permanently installed standby generators can come in handy during long-term power outages. However, if you do not know how to use them properly, they can be dangerous. Contact a qualified vendor or electrician to help you determine what generator is best suited to your needs. Before using, be sure to read and follow manufacturer’s instructions. If you are installing a permanent generator, it must have a transfer switch. The transfer switch prevents energy from leaving your generator and going back onto the utility electrical equipment when it could be dangerous to a lineman or others near downed power lines, a process known as “back feed.” A qualified electrician should install your generator and transfer switch.

Safe Electricity has the following tips to use portable generators safely: „ Operate it outdoors in an area with plenty of ventilation. Never run a generator in a home or garage. Generators give off deadly carbon monoxide. „ Do not plug a generator into the wall to avoid back feed. Use heavy-duty extension cords to connect appliances to the outlets on the generator itself. „ Turn the generator on before plugging appliances to it. Once the generator is running, turn your appliances and lights on one at a time to avoid overloading the unit. Remember, generators are for temporary usage, prioritize your needs. „ Generators pose electrical risks especially when operated in wet conditions. Use a generator only when necessary when the weather creates wet or moist conditions. Protect the generator by operating it under an open, canopy-like structure on a dry surface where water cannot form puddles or drain under it. Always ensure that your hands are dry before touching the generator. „ Be sure the generator is turned off and cool before fueling it. „ Keep children and pets away from portable generators at all times. Many generator components are hot enough to burn you during operation. Safe Electricity suggests that these safety guidelines as well as basic operating instructions be posted in the home and with the generator. Source: safeelectricity.org 4

Cooperative Connections | March 2018

March 18-24, 2018

National Ag Week

Each American farmer feeds about 144 people! America needs agriculture…and we need our farmers, who provide Food for Life. This is why we’re celebrating all things Ag on National Ag Day, March 20. Find out more: https://www.agday.org/


“Don’t touch power lines.” Christopher Barranco, 5 years old

Christopher is the son of David and Catherine Barranco, Brandon, S.D. They are members of Sioux Valley Energy, Colman. 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.


Seafood Sensations Seafood Quiche 1 (6 oz.) can crab, salmon or tuna, drained 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Spaghetti Squash Shrimp Lo Mein 1 cup milk 1/2 tsp. salt Pepper to taste


Fresh chives, optional

4 eggs


Spray a 10-inch pie plate with vegetable cooking spray. Combine seafood, cheese and onions. Press into bottom and up sides of pie plate. Beat eggs, milk, salt and pepper; pour over all. Sprinkle with paprika, if desired. Bake at 350°F. for about 30 minutes or until eggs are set. Let set a few minutes before cutting. Elaine Rowett, Sturgis

Broiled Salmon with Lemon 1 T. extra-virgin olive oil 1 tsp. grated lemon rind plus 1 T. fresh juice (from 1 lemon) 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

4 (6 oz.) center-cut salmon fillets (about 1-inch thick) 1/4 tsp. kosher salt 1/4 tsp. black pepper

Combine oil, rind, juice and Worcestershire sauce in a shallow dish. Place fillets, skin side up, in dish. Let stand 15 minutes. Preheat broiler with oven rack 6 inches from heat. Place fillets, skin side down, on a foil-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil to desired degree of doneness, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove fillets from foil using a metal spatula. Tina Haug, Pierre

Freeze Ahead Crab Appetizers 1 jar Old English cheese spread 1/2 c. soft butter 1/4 tsp. garlic salt/powder

2 tsp. vegetable oil, divided

2 tsp. McCormick® Garlic Powder, divided

1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined

1-1/4 tsp. McCormick® Ginger, Ground, divided

1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions

1-1/2 cups matchstick 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy carrots sauce 1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced 2 T. honey

Cut spaghetti squash crosswise into 1-inch thick rings. Remove seeds. Place rings on microwavable plate. Pour 1/4 cup water in the plate. Cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on HIGH 7 minutes or until tender. Let stand in microwave 10 minutes. Carefully remove from microwave. Peel the skin off the squash, then shred the flesh, using fingers or a fork, into long thin strands. Place squash noodles in large bowl. Discard the skin. (Should yield about 5 cups of squash noodles.) Meanwhile, mix soy sauce, honey, 1-1/2 tsp. of the garlic powder and 1 tsp. of the ginger in small bowl until well blended. Set aside. Heat 1 T. of the oil in large skillet on medium-high heat. Add carrots and pepper; stir-fry 3 minutes. Add shrimp and sauce mixture; stir-fry 2 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink. Remove shrimp mixture from skillet. Heat remaining 1 T. oil in skillet on medium-high heat. Add squash noodles, remaining 1/2 tsp. garlic powder and 1/4 tsp. ginger; cook and stir gently 1 minute to heat through. Return shrimp mixture to skillet; toss gently with squash noodles. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with green onions. Makes 7 (1 cup) servings Nutritional Information Per Serving: Calories 165, Total Fat 5g, Saturated Fat 1g, Sodium 479mg, Cholesterol 96mg, Carbohydrates 18g, Protein 12g, Dietary Fiber 3g, Pictured, Cooperative Connections

1/2 tsp. seasoned salt 1 T. mayonnaise 1 (7 oz.) can crab meat 6 English muffins, separated

Mix first 5 ingredients together well; stir in crab. Spread on each half muffin. Cut each half muffin into 6 wedges. Place in ziplock bag and freeze. When ready to serve, don’t thaw. Bake at 400°F. for 10 minutes. Ginny Jensen, Volga

1 spaghetti squash, (about 2-1/2 lbs.)

Please send your favorite appetizer, beverage and casserole recipes to your local electric cooperative (address found on Page 3). Each recipe printed will be entered into a drawing for a prize in June 2018. All entries must include your name, mailing address, telephone number and cooperative name. March 2018 | Cooperative Connections



The Titus Store and Post Office at Clough

CLOUGH Ever heard of it? Veronica Kusser veronica.kusser@westriver.coop

Clough First Post Office & Store in 1910.

Clough, an unincorporated town in South Dakota, with a population of seven. Clough was somewhere between Sturgis and White Owl in Meade County and was founded in 1910.

Mrs Kate Childs came to the area with her daughter Corabell, from Yankton, SD. She was a brave lady to come this far alone with a young child. Mrs Childs requested that the town be named after her father, hence came the name Clough. She had the building built by Mr Moore and a young man by the name of Charles Jugler. After the building was complete, Charles stayed on to help Kate in the store and the post office as her assistant. The members of the community were excited when the store and post office went up, they could get their staples and mail from closer to home. The mail was brought from Sturgis twice a week. The staples to sell at the store were hauled in from Underwood. It took Kate three days to get the goods here from Underwood.

community to come to his home for worship and evangelization. Soon a Baptist Church was established in Clough.

Many people from the area gathered on mail day waiting for the arrival of the mail carrier from Sturgis. The people would come early to visit and catch up on the news in the area, bringing with them a picnic lunch.

Mr Ward Earl homesteaded just a mile north of the store. He gathered the news from the area and sent it off to Deadwood to be published to the Clough Courier which was then sent back to be distributed to the community.

In the early 1920’s the Store and Post Office were taken over by Clifford Titus. There were a couple of other owners thru the years until it closed in 1943. People in the community put up a request to have worship services and sunday school for the youngsters. Mr Wrapp, who lived just a 1/4 mile from the Clough Store, invited the 6

Cooperative Connections | March 2018

At about the same time, the request for schooling for the children of the area was made. Delphia Fosdick opened her home to the students and began teaching with just 6 pupils. The people of the community looked forward to gatherings, where they came together to share a meal and visit. Occasionally a dance was organized and held at someone’s home.

The country was plagued with drought. Every year the people would say next year we will get more rain and have better crops. The country became known as the “next year country”. Soon the people began moving back to where they came from, bringing an end in 1943 to the town of Clough. Many referred to it as the happy days in God’s Country!


Wrightsonville in the early 1900’s.

WRIGHTSONVILLE Ever heard of it? Veronica Kusser veronica.kusser@westriver.coop

Crossing the Belle Fourche River in 1910.

Wrightsonville, an unincorporated town in South Dakota, with a population of ten. Wrightsonville was north of the Hope School, somewhere between Sturgis and Union Center in Meade County and was founded in or around 1907. The Wrightson family traveled by covered wagon to Meade County, South Dakota and founded a small community on the prairie. Early census shows that there was a post office established by Nellie Wrightson and her brother Charles had the country store, a blacksmith shop, and a newspaper. The country store sold almost everything that a family might need. That wasn’t much compared to our needs today. There were very few fences or bridges in the area, and the roads were well-worn buggy and wagon trails. There were no Model t’s, the only form of transportation was horse and buggy.

dry. They went to a place where there was a large puddle in the river and caught fish by hand and had a fish fry at the river. Homesteaders, as she remembers it, ate a lot of rabbits and deer, because that is what was available for them to catch. One of her mom’s biggest frustrations was that she worked hard, raised a family but couldn’t vote, that is until 1920!

School in a Homestead cabin with Daisie Wrightson..

The 1909 business directory for Wrightsonville shows that there was Wrightson Grocery which had general merchandise, CE Wrightson was a blacksmith in town, Fred Voice was a barber keeping the hair and mustaches trimmed, and A Kulesza had a stage line that ran thru the town. On August 2, 1911 a stroke of lightning hit and burned Wrightsonville to the ground. Nellie Wrightson re-built the post office at that time but discontinued it in 1912 when she married Fred Lapp. The post office was then moved to Haydraw, bringing to an end the era of a small town on the prairie of Western South Dakota. I caught up with Lois Lapp who was so kind to share a couple of memories with me. She remembered her mom telling about the drought of 1911 when the Belle Fourche River went

She remembers her mom saying that life was “quite a challenge, but they got together with the neighbors, and they had their freedom, so life was good”. Thank you Lois for sharing with us, your memories. March 2018 | Cooperative Connections



Solar energy generates about 1 percent of the nation’s electricity.

WHERE RENEWABLE ENERGY GETS ITS POWER Here are the basics of a small but fast-growing source of your electricity. Paul Wesslund NRECA Contributing Writer

Solar energy and wind power may not seem like a big deal. Unless you’re talking about the future. Or maybe even the present. For all today’s talk about renewable energy, it still makes up a pretty small portion of the energy sources that generate our electricity. But it’s coming on fast, and it’s picking up speed. Here’s your crash course in how wind, the sun and water generate electricity.

Solar energy Solar energy generates only about 1 percent of the nation’s electricity, but that’s a stunning increase from just five years ago, when the number was too small to report for the U.S. Department of Energy. Solar growth will continue as costs fall, technology improves and people figure out better ways to use solar energy. There are lots of ways to use energy from the sun. You can hang your washed clothes outside to dry, and you can open curtains to warm your home on a sunny day. More ambitious projects use the sun to warm pipes full of water that is pumped around a building for heat. But what most people mean when they talk about solar energy is photovoltaic electricity. When certain materials get hit by sunlight, their atoms spit out an electron, and electricity is just 8

Cooperative Connections | March 2018

a stream of electrons. Over the decades, scientists and engineers experimented with solar-sensitive materials to make them into lighter, longer-lasting and more affordable wafers called photovoltaic cells, which are combined and integrated into solar photovoltaic modules. One of their first uses was space travel, and continued improvements are allowing solar to become a more down-to-earth kind of energy. One of those improvements is cost. Solar panel prices dropped 85 percent in the past seven years with improvements in materials and larger-scale production methods. Another technological advance is about to give the industry an

YOUR ENERGY extra boost, says Dale Bradshaw, a technical consultant with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). He says solar panels can now track the sun as it moves across the sky rather than sitting fixed in place, raising their productivity by collecting more sunlight throughout the day. This year, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration reported that half the large solar installations in the country already use some kind of sun-tracking technology. It’s also worth knowing that the solar industry is maturing with different forms of ownership: utility, industrial, commercial and residential scale, and community solar installations. Utility scale is what you might expect – large banks of solar panels owned and operated by an electric utility or other large organization, producing many megawatts of solar energy. Industrial and commercial solar installations can range from kilowatts up to multi-megawatts and be placed on rooftops, over parking lots or on land near industrial and commercial enterprises. Industrial and commercial installations are beginning to increase as the price for solar continues to drop. Residential solar installations are also being installed primarily on rooftops, especially in the southwestern United States. NRECA’s Bradshaw says community solar can ease the higher expense of self-owned rooftop solar. With community solar, a utility builds a large solar installation and sells shares in the project to customers interested in an investment in renewable energy. That style of ownership and development is especially suited to consumer-owned electric co-ops, and many are offering solar shares to their members.

not cost-effective for small-scale home use when compared to utility scale wind turbines,” says Bradshaw.

Hydroelectric power Another way to turn an electricity-generating turbine is to store water behind a dam then harness its power as it flows from the reservoir to the river below. Specialists disagree on whether to count hydroelectric power as renewable energy. On the one hand, it doesn’t create greenhouse gas or other chemical pollutants by burning fossil fuel. On the other hand, large-scale hydro typically calls for building a permanent dam across a river valley and flooding the area behind it. Another option is to put hydroelectric generators directly in rapidly flowing rivers to capture power, but this is a significantly more expensive option than using hydroelectric power from water stored behind a permanent dam. Then there’s the question of whether you consider flowing water renewable, or something that can be used up. Hydroelectric power generates nearly 7 percent of the electricity in the United States. Although that number changes a bit during times of drought or heavy rain, the amount of electricity produced by hydro power has been relatively stable during the past several years. Paul Wesslund writes on cooperative issues for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the Arlington, Va.-based service arm of the nation’s 900-plus consumer-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives.

“Co-ops are doing a great job of building community-scale solar,” says Bradshaw. “They’re going full blast on that.” Bradshaw also notes that community solar allows a homeowner to avoid both maintenance of their own system, and the hassle of sorting out different offers from rooftop solar vendors.

Wind power Wind power has increased significantly as costs continue to decrease. Wind power generates nearly 6 percent of the nation’s electricity, and it is growing at a pretty good clip, with an increase of about 35 percent during the past four years. In a way, wind generates electricity the same way as coal, natural gas and nuclear – by spinning a turbine that creates an electricity-producing magnetic field. The huge difference is that the turbine is turned by enormous propeller-like blades designed to catch the wind. It’s the size of those blades, and the height of the turbine towers (as much as 300 feet in the air) that makes the difference, says NRECA’s Bradshaw. “Wind is a really useful renewable, but it has to be utility scale,” he says. A tall utility-scale tower can capture as much as 50 percent of the wind, but there’s not a practical, personal alternative to compare with rooftop solar. A rural residential customer or a rural commercial customer with a 50 to 100-foot tower will probably generate electricity only about 25 percent of the time. “It’s really

Nationally, wind accounts for nearly 6 percent of the nation’s electricity. For electric cooperatives in the Dakotas and Minnesota, the percentage is higher. March 2018 | Cooperative Connections



COOPERATIVE CONNECTIONS CARD West River Electric and Touchstone Energy want to remind you about the Cooperative Connections card. The program that helps you receive discounts on products and services from participating local and national businesses. Some of the discounts included are on prescriptions, dental services and glasses. There are 48,000 chain and independent pharmacies in this program and 28 of them, right here in our community. Take advantage of some of the local discounts listed here. You will find a complete local and national listing at www.connections.coop, or on our website at www.westriver.coop. You can download a free phone app from either the app store, google play or stop by the office to pickup a discount card.

National Dealers 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

1-800-PACK-RAT 1-800-PetMeds 1-800Flowers.com ADP ADT Home Security by Alarm Nation 6. AIP Solutions 7. AirMedCare Network 8. All You! Studio & Party Place, LLC 10. Altrec.com 11. Anna's Gourmet Goodies 12. Atlanta Motor Speedway 13. AutoAnything 14. Avis 15. Avoya Travel 16. Avoya Travel - Escorted Tours 17. Avoya Travel River Cruises 18. B2BEnergySavers.com 19. Baymont Inn & Suites 20. Best Western Hotels 21. Black Dog Custom Rods 22. BonusDrive Advantage 23. BowlingShirt.com 24. Brookgreen Gardens 25. BrownDuck 26. BrownDuck Market 27. Budget 28. Cabot Creamery Cooperative 29. Castle Branch 30. Carowinds 10

31. Castle Branch 32. Cherry Moon Farms 33. Choice Concepts 34. Co-op Connections Travel Center 35. Coggins Flowers & Gifts 36. Colorado in a Basket 37. Computrain Solutions 38. Connect Your Home- ADT 39. Conscious Cup Coffee 40. Constant Contact 41. Cooperative Healthy Savings Plus 42. Cornerstone Farm Bed and Breakfast 43. Cubesmart 44. Cumberland Caverns 45. Days Inn 46. Dell 47. DERMAdoctor Skincare 48. DISH Network from Connect Your Home 49. Dollar Rent A Car 50. Dollar Wise Cartridge, L.L.C. 51. Drury Hotels 52. EarQ Family Hearing Plan 53. EliminateID Theft 54. Endless Vacation Rentals by Wyndham 55. Energy Federation Incorporated (EFI) 56. Energy Savers 57. Enterprise

Cooperative Connections | March 2018

58. 59. 60. 61. 62. 63. 64. 65. 66. 67. 68. 69. 70. 71. 72. 73. 74. 75. 76. 77. 78. 79. 80. 81. 82. 83. 84. 85. 86. 87.

FansEdge FilterEasy.com FilterSnap FRSafety.com Garland Truffles, Inc. Gemologica Fine Jewelry Store Georgia Aquarium GiftCards.com GiftTree GymSource Hampton Inn and Suites Chapel Hill/Carrboro Hawthorn Suites Healthy Savings Medicare Assistant Hertz Hotel Storm Howard Johnson Husky Liners ID Sanctuary Imagine Going There Travel Impact Plus Uniforms InkOasis.com Kenergy Solar Kentucky Kingdom & Hurricane Bay Kentucky State Parks Knights Inn La Quinta Inns & Suites Lamprey Systems LEDUSA.com LEGOLAND Florida Resort LifeLock

88. Magnets by Stamp Works 89. Meramec Music Theatre 90. Microtel Inns & Suites 91. Miles From Town Press 92. Minnesota Renaissance Festival 93. Most Cash For Your Home 94. Motel 6 95. Mountaintop Web Design 96. Niagara Conservation 97. No Haggles 98. Office Depot 99. Orlando Employee Discounts 100. Our Health Data Cooperative 101. Personal Creations 102. Pet Assure 103. ProFlowers 104. Quicken Loans 105. Ramada 106. RedEnvelope 107. Satellite Entertainment 108. ScaleSafe Home 109. Sealantsdirect.com 110. Sealy Bedding 111. Select Quote Auto & Home 112. Service Concepts 113. Shari’s Berries 114. Signmax 115. Silverwood Theme Park 116. SmokinTex 117. Solar Wind Technologies 118. Southern Heritage Bed & Breakfast 119. Sprint 120. Staples Office Supplies 121. Super 8 122. TheAcademy.com 123. Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation 124. Ticket Monster 125. TicketNetwork 126. Tilden 127. Travelodge 128. UniFirst 129. UTA 130. Vacations Direct 131. Vehicle Advantage 132. Viking River Cruises 133. Waterbrook Winery 134. Western Border & Co. LLC 135. WEX Fleet Card 136. Wingate by Wyndham -Macon 137. Wingate 138. Wyndham Extra Holidays 139. Wyndham Garden 140. Wyndham Grand Collection

141. Wyndham Hotels 142. YRC

Local Dealers 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15.

4th Avenue Floral AAMCO Transmission Adoba Hotel America’s Best Value Inn Ameriprise Financial Athletic Club AZZ Business and Tax Badlands Saloon and Grille Black Hills Beauty College Black Hills Caverns Black Hills Medical Billing Black Hills Visitor Info Center Bob’s Auto Service Cell Phone Repair Pro Comfort Suites Hotel and Convention Center 16. Days Inn 17. Deadwood Mountain Grand 18. Elk Creek Resort 19. Evans Orthodontic Specialists 20. Fibrenew of the Black Hills 21. Grand Magic Show 22. Green Star Camper Center 23. Hansen Physical Therapy 24. Healthy Systems USA 25. High Country Guest Ranch 26. Historic Homestake Opera House Theater 27. Karma Boutique 28. L & L Designs Boutique 29. Lasting Memories Studio 30. Logan’s Transmission Inc. 31. Loyal Plumbing LLC. 32. Merry Maids 33. Micro Solutions Computers 34. Minervas 35. Northern Electrical Contractors 36. Old Fort Meade Museum 37. Old West Dutch Oven Catering Company 38. On The Border 39. Performance Home and Safety Inc. 40. Petrified Forest of the Black Hills 41. Play It Again Sports 42. Precision Mechanical 43. Preformance Respiratory Inc. 44. Red Rock Chiropractic 45. Rushmore Cave 46. Schaack Family Dentistry

47. 48. 49. 50. 51. 52.


Silver Star Septic LLC TanXcel Inc. Technology Center The Mammoth Site The UPS Store 1884 Time Equipment Rental and Sales 53. Tom’s T’s 54. Wall Lube Center

Local Pharmacy Dealers: 1. Regional Home Long Term Care Pharmacy 2. Regional Home Plus Specialty Pharmacy 3. Regional Specialty Pharmacy 4. Regional Long Term Care Pharmacy 5. Family Thrift Center 6. Chcbh Pharmacy 7. Safeway Pharmacy #0581 8. Pharmerica 9. Walmart Pharmacy 10-1604 10. Boyds Drug Rx Express 11. Boyds Drug Mart East 12. Shopko Pharmacy 13. Family Thrift Center 14. The Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy 15. Cvs Pharmacy # 16. Walgreens #10656 17. Walgreens #9512 18. REGIONAL PHARMACY 19. Kmart Pharmacy4170 20. Walmart Pharmacy 10-3872 21. Medicine Shoppe Advanced Care Pharmacy 22. Dod Ellsworth Ephcy 23. Ellsworth Phcy 28Th Mdg 24. Rapid City Ihs Hospital Pharmacy 25. Safeway Pharmacy #1554 26. Ftc Express Pharmacy 27. Walgreens #5643 28. Boyds Drug Mart West

March 2018 | Cooperative Connections



Robots and Sensors Electric co-ops use innovative technologies for real-time feedback on the health of the grid. Thomas Kirk NRECA Associate Analyst

Today, electric cooperatives may choose from a wide array of technologies that give them near real-time feedback on the health of the grid. Electric grids are immense machines that span counties, and often entire states, bringing power to many homes and businesses. So how do the electric companies know what’s happening on their lines? How much power is being delivered? What equipment needs to be replaced? These are important questions that electric cooperatives spend a lot of time and money to answer. For many years, electric co-ops relied entirely on in-person inspections to determine asset conditions and calls from members to discover power outages. During and after storms, this could mean lengthy recovery times as supervisors evaluated the available information and decided where to send line crews, who then searched for damaged lines in order to make repairs and restore electric service. Even normal operations required personnel to be sent into the field constantly to perform manual inspections. Today, electric co-ops may choose from a wide array of technologies that give them near real-time feedback on the health of the grid. Monitoring and automation tech12

Electric cooperatives maintain 2.5 million miles of power lines across the United States. In South Dakota alone, electric cooperatives have more than 65,000 miles of distribution power lines.

nologies are becoming more affordable and gaining more functionality leading to greater use in the field. Two of the most common technologies in this space are Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) and

Cooperative Connections | March 2018

Automated Meter Infrastructure (AMI). SCADA systems have greatly evolved since their original development in the 1920s. Modern systems take advantage of communication, monitoring and automation technologies to give utilities a


Photo Caption

Electric cooperatives are exploring a host of innovative technologies, such as smart meters and special sensors placed on power lines for niche applications, including fault location, power theft detection and asset management. real-time picture of how substations are performing and make changes as needed. At the end of the line, AMI, also known as smart meters, report back to the utility how much energy consumers use, often on a 15-minute basis. Utilities can “ping” these meters to determine if they’re still receiving power during storms or other types of outages. Beyond AMI and SCADA, utilities are exploring a host of other sensor technologies for niche applications including fault location, power theft detection and asset management. These applications are being enabled by a new wave of inexpensive sensors that cost one-tenth of what they did a decade ago. When a fault occurs on a transmission line (the large power lines that carry power from plants to substations), they create transient waves on the lines. By placing special sensors on transmission lines and measuring the time that a wave reaches two of these sensors, the location of a fault can be accurately and quickly determined. This lets the utility know exactly where to send repair crews.

Across the whole U.S. electric industry, roughly $6 billion worth of electricity is stolen annually, which leads to higher prices for everyone. Traditionally, one of the best tools for identifying power theft

For members, these technologies provide three primary benefits: increased reliability, reduced outage times and lower prices. is visual inspection of meters for signs of tampering, but with AMI systems, utility personnel aren’t visiting meters in-person as often. Load-monitoring sensors – often called current transformers (CTs) or current sensors – can be placed on distri-

bution power lines to help catch significant losses along a line, from theft or for other reasons. Data gathered by CTs can be reconciled with meter readings to investigate discrepancies between the electricity passed through the line and the electricity measured by the meters. CT devices are also valuable for diagnosing excessive line loss due to other problems, such as conductor damage or aging transformers. For members, these technologies provide three primary benefits: increased reliability, reduced outage times and lower prices as the utility manages employee time and resources more efficiently. As sensors continue to improve and drop in price, expect to see more real-time grid monitoring. Thomas Kirk is an associate analyst of distributed energy resources for the Arlington, Va.-based National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s Business & Technology Strategies (BTS) division.

March 2018 | Cooperative Connections



Tough Enough to Wear Pink West River Electric employees proudly took the challenge to support the fight. Each year we look forward to the opportunity to Get Tough, Wear Pink, and Help the Fight Against Cancer. The employees dressed for the fight, are shown below. The proeceeds from the t-shirts bought benefit the John T Vucurevich 10588700Regional Cancer Care Institute. We challenge you to be Tough and Support the Fight Against Cancer.

Alex Preszler

Journeyman Certified Alex has completed one of the world’s most comprehensive training programs for power line personnel. We have an active training coordinator assisting trainees by administering testing throughout the four year journey to becoming a Journeyman. Alex was required to put in 8000 hours of work time under the guidance of a qualified trainer. Alex, lineman for West River Electric has successfully completed the comprehensive training program for power line construction and maintenance and received his Journeyman January 15. Congratulations Alex.

Former General Manager

Thorval Sautter 1927-2018

We want to express our condolences to the family of Thor Sautter. He came to West River Electric in 1967. In 1971 Thor was named General Manager and remained in that position until his retirement in July of 1990.

Back Row Jenny Patterson, Dawn Hilgenkamp, Aimee Paulsen and Roberta Rancour. Front Row: 4319400 Lindsy Reagle, Betty Haerer and Alicia Fortune.

During Thor’s years as manager, WREA grew from a plant investment of $7 million to $27 million; annual revenue grew from $1 million to $9 million; the number of employees increased from 27 to 37; with the number of meters served increasing from 3200 to 8700. Thor was a great manager for West River Electric and served on many national and local boards and committees representing WREA across the United States. Thor is survived by his wife, Mary, six children thirteen grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren.

CEO Dick Johnson

Elected to Touchstone Energy® Cooperative Board West River Electric CEO, Dick Johnson was elected to the Touchstone Energy Cooperatives board of directors.

Left to Right: Veronica Kusser, Robert Raker, Bonnie Almeida, Willy Nohr, Sally Traver, Adam Daigle, Amy Thompson, Jannette Thayer, Christine Ritter, Gerri Johnston, Matt Schmahl, Brendan Nelson, Tracea Ladner and Dustin Brimm. 14

Cooperative Connections | March 2018

Touchstone Energy is the brand of America’s electric cooperatives. Touchstone Energy Cooperatives represents a nationwide alliance of member-owned electric co-ops. Collectively, it delivers power and energy solutions to more than 750 unified local electric cooperatives across 46 states.


Daylight Savings Time Don’t forget to spring forward on March 11! Set your clocks ahead by one hour.

Energy Efficiency Tip of the Month In spring and summer months, set your ceiling fans to turn in the counterclockwise direction. This will create a cool breeze. Remember: Ceiling fans cool people, not rooms. Turn them off when you leave the room.

(USPS No. 675-840)

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

Update your Information It is important to keep your information updated with us for planned outages. If you have made a change to your phone number, email or address please send a note to info@westriver.coop or call us at 605-3931500 or 605-279-2135.

Locate Your Account Number If you locate your account number anywhere in this issue of the West River Electric Cooperative Connections you4695100 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.

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 – dick.johnson@westriver.coop

West River Electric Office Hours

Editor Veronica Kusser – veronica.kusser@westriver.coop

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

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 Postageaid 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.

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

Service & Billing Questions? Contact 393-1500 or 279-2135 during offices hours. E-mail us at info@westriver.coop for questions on your account. After Hours Power Restoration: 605-393-1500 or 605-279-2135.

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 veronica.kusser@westriver.coop.

March 2018 | Cooperative Connections



September 5-May 24

Box Elder/Douglas School District Community Library, Monday-Thursdays, Douglas High School Library

February 22-25

33rd Annual SD State Dart Tournament, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, Rapid City, SD, 605-394-4115 South Dakota State High School Wrestling Tournaments, All Classes, Premier Center, Sioux Falls, SD

February 23-24

Youth and Family Services, Diamonds and Denim Dinner Theatre, East of Westreville with Kenny Putnam, 120 E Adams St, Rapid City, SD, 605-342-4195

February 24

Last Day to Skate Beach Party, Main Street Square, Rapid City, SD, 605-716-7979

March 1

Newsboys United, Don Barnett Arena, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, Rapid City, SD, 605-394-4115

March 2-3

February 24: Annual Outhouse Races and Chili Cook-off Contest, Nemo, SD, 605-578-2708 March 8-10

March 14

March 16

March 9

March 15-17

March 24

March 9-11

March 15-17

March 29

SD High School State A Girls Basketball Tournament, Watertown Civic Arena, Watertown, SD Suzie Cappa Art Center Art Nights Twenty Eighteen, Rapid City, SD, suziecappaart.com BH Home Show, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, Rapid City, SD, 605-348-7850

South Dakota High School Debate and IE Tournament, Watertown High School, Watertown, SD

March 10

March 4

March 10

BH Regional Job Fair, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, Rapid City, SD, sdjobfairs.com

March 8-10

SD High School State B Girls Basketball Tournament, Barnett Center (NSU), Aberdeen, SD

BH Works Foundation Putt-n-Pub, Downtown, Rapid City, SD, 605-718-6207 2018 Lakota Youth Archery Championship, Rockyford School, south of Scenic, SD, tim.villa@k12.sd.us

March 10-11

Philip Area Gun Show, American Legion Hall, Philip, SD, 605-859-2280

20th Annual Black Hills Regional Job Fair, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, Rapid City, SD, sdjobfairs.com South Dakota High School State AA Girls Basketball Tournament, Premier Center, Sioux Falls, SD South Dakota High School State B Boys Basketball Tournament, Barnett Center, Aberdeen, SD

March 15-17

South Dakota High School State A Boys Basketball Tournament, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, Rapid City, SD

March 15-17

South Dakota High School State AA Boys Basketball Tournament, Premier Center, Sioux Falls, SD

BH Lutheran School Legacy Banquet, Rushmore Plaza Holiday Inn, Rapid City, SD, 605-721-0760 SD High School All-State Band Concert, Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Fine Arts Theatre, Rapid City, SD Badlands Bad River Regional Economic Development Partnership Career Expo, School, Wall, SD 605-279-2658 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.

Photo courtesy: travelsd.com

February 23-24

Profile for West River Electric Association

Wrea march 2018  

PDF Version of the March 2018 Cooperative Connections.

Wrea march 2018  

PDF Version of the March 2018 Cooperative Connections.