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Trip Of A Lifetime

When thinking about experiencing our nation’s capital in a fantastic way, the electric cooperative youth tour is the way to go. It’s a remarkable trip with many opportunities to learn about our local electric cooperatives and our nation’s history.

While in D.C., we visited many historical sights such as the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument and the World War II Memorial. We also had the opportunity to visit many museums, including the Holocaust museum, Smithsonian museums and the Newseum. When we weren’t touring a museum, we were enjoying a ferris wheel ride at the National Harbor or meeting with our state’s congressmen at the Capitol. One evening after exploring downtown Alexandria, we, along with Georgia, enjoyed a water boat cruise down the Potomac River. This was one of the moments we got to know each other. On Capitol Hill day, we had the opportunity to meet with Kevin Cramer and John Hoeven to discuss the inner workings of our nation’s government.

One of the most memorable and rewarding parts of the trip were the friendships we formed. On the first day of the trip, all of us were quite shy and nervous, but by the seventh day we had formed friendships that would last a lifetime.

When I think of a “trip of a lifetime,” the electric cooperative youth tour fits the profile. I owe extreme thanks to Nodak Electric Cooperative for the remarkable experience at our nation’s capital.

High school sophomores and juniors can apply today for the 2019 Youth Tour. Learn more here. 

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Fuel Prices Could Affect Load Control

Slightly higher wholesale market prices, in particular propane, entering the heating season could impact the number of load control hours for Nodak Electric Cooperative off-peak members in winter 2018-19. Minnkota is Nodak Electric’s wholesale power supplier.

“As those prices go up, the market follows those trends, and you see more control,” said Todd Sailer, Minnkota Power Cooperative senior manager of power supply and resource planning.

Sailer said Minnkota, your cooperative’s wholesale energy supplier, estimates 200 to 250 hours of dual-heat load control this winter. This compares to the 10-year average of 170 hours.

Last year’s total of 60 control hours shows that moderate temperatures and low market conditions can combine to result in a small amount of control hours.

Other than the natural gas and propane prices inching up, Minnkota’s demand response outlook is similar to the 2017-18 forecast. The unknown is possible forced outages at Minnkota and elsewhere in the wholesale energy market.

“Market price volatility is driven by fuel prices, weather and generator outages. These events drive the majority of the control hours,” Sailer said.

Minnkota has the ability to control up to 350 megawatts through its demand response system. This includes dual-fuel systems, temporarily controlling storage heating systems, large-capacity water heaters, home vehicle chargers and large industrial consumers with backup generators. Millions of dollars have been saved due to the successful operation of Minnkota’s load management system for about 40 years.

Two outages could have an impact on the number of load control hours. Unit 1 of the Milton R. Young Station is offline until early November after a major outage was extended for damage discovered during the outage. Also, Coyote Station has an outage scheduled to begin March 29 and last into May.

“Any time you have a generator out, you’re exposed more to the market,” Sailer said. “Right now we have some scheduled outages for the first part of November and then again in the spring. We typically do not schedule maintenance in the January and February time frame when we’re at peak conditions. That’s where the unplanned or forced outages come into play.”

During outages and periods of peak electric demand, Minnkota’s first option is to purchase energy from the power market. If the timing is not right and affordable power is not available, off-peak loads are temporarily controlled. The savings are passed on to retail consumers through the lower off-peak heating rate.

“Controlling load during these periods protects consumers from the volatility of the market and prevents the need to build new power plants just to serve peak loads,” Sailer said.

An off-peak system consists of an electric heating source as its primary component. A supplemental heating source must operate several hundred hours or more during the winter season. Sailer said members with a well-maintained backup heating system should not notice a difference in comfort level when their off-peak heating system is controlled.

Incentives for heating, charging equipment

As part of its Value of Electricity campaign, Minnkota works with its member cooperatives and participating municipals to offer incentives for the installation of electric heating, water heating and charging equipment.

A recent addition is incentives for the installation of electric vehicle charging equipment on the off-peak program. It calls for a $50 per kilowatt rebate for Level 2 chargers that are 240 volts. The maximum rebate is $500.

“One of the things that is new to our program that we’re really promoting is the electrical vehicles,” Sailer said. “We see it as a benefit for the consumer and the co-ops. It’s just another good load in our demand response program.”

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Honoring Our Veterans

As I write this article, Veterans Day is just around the corner; however, by the time you receive it the holiday season will be in full swing. Still, I want to pause and express my gratitude by saying thank you to all our current and former service men and women. Your sacrifice and commitment to making the world a better place has not gone unnoticed and as such, we honor our fallen veterans and say thank you to the brave men and women who have served. On this 100th anniversary of the armistice ending World War I, it is especially important that we express our thanks to those who sacrificed so much to ensure freedom for us and our allies.

As an electric cooperative, we hold our veterans in high esteem and aim to do our part to not only honor them but help support them. One way we would like to do this is through the “No Barriers Program.” One of our financial services partners, CoBank, has teamed up with No Barriers USA to allow electric cooperatives to nominate veterans with disabilities to participate in a five-day expedition at no cost. The program provides an opportunity for rural veterans to challenge their own limitations, both real and perceived, physical and mental. Through successful completion of demanding activities like rafting, rock climbing and hiking, they become better equipped to overcome obstacles they face in their daily lives. By sharing experiences with other veterans with disabilities, they also build a network of support that can last a lifetime. If you or someone you know could benefit from this program, go to http://www.cobank.com/citizenship/no-barriers for more information.

The holiday season can be a magical time for many of us. Festive gatherings with family and friends, time away from school, ringing in the new year and celebrating the promise of new opportunities can be especially exciting. However, the holiday season can also be an extremely difficult time. The added financial pressures that come from this time of year can be especially difficult for those who have those day-to-day struggles. For those without family or friends to share the holidays with, it can also be a very difficult and lonely time.

As we move through the holiday season we hold those having struggles close in our thoughts and encourage everyone to extend a helping hand whenever possible. To all our members and neighbors, we at Nodak Electric Cooperative want to wish you the happiest of happy holidays.

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Nodak Electric Cooperative

Nodak Electric Cooperative is dedicated to being an efficient provider of quality electric service with leadership that demonstrates the highest regard for its members/owners.


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800-732-4373 or 701-746-4461

Nov/Dec 2018

The Official Publication of Nodak Electric Cooperative

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