Fitch Ratings has affirmed Basin Electric’s short-term bond rating of F1 and long-term rating of A+ with a stable outlook.
In its Feb. 11 opinion, Fitch states key drivers for this rating include the cooperative’s rapid load growth, reasonable electric rates, moderating capital program, stabilized financial ratios, good liquidity and non-electric sales.
According to Steve Johnson, Basin Electric senior vice president and chief financial officer, maintaining strong ratings is integral as the cooperative meets growing load requirements.
“The financial community sees Basin Electric is very strong and in a good position to repay outstanding obligations,” Johnson says.
In recent years, Basin Electric has added about 700 megawatts (MW) of natural gas-fired intermediate and peaking capacity (mainly, the Deer Creek, Groton, Culbertson, and Pioneer stations) and plans to add another 90 MWs of natural gas peaking capacity at the Lonesome Creek Station during 2015 and 112 MW at Pioneer Generation Station in 2016.
This rating comes following the cooperative’s annual visit to the financial community in New York City in October of 2014. Johnson participated in the visits, together with Basin Electric CEO and General Manager Paul Sukut, Basin Electric Board President Wayne Peltier, Basin Electric Board Vice President Kermit Pearson, Dakota Gas Board Chair Don Applegate, Dakota Gas Board Vice Chairman Arden Fuher, and Dakota Gas Board Treasurer Allen Thiessen.
About Basin Electric Power Cooperative Basin Electric is a consumer-owned, regional cooperative headquartered in Bismarck, N.D. It generates and transmits electricity to 138 member rural electric systems in nine states: Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. These member systems distribute electricity to about 2.8 million consumers.