Daryl Hill, Basin Electric manager of media and communications relations, was cleaning out his closet when he found an item for a Throwback Thursday post — a polo shirt he received in 1994.
The cooperative was celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the two facilities.
Construction began on Antelope Valley’s first unit in 1978 and on the Synfuels Plant in 1980. By 1984, the plants began to provide energy. The Synfuels Plant’s first pipeline-quality natural gas was produced in April 1984, while the first unit at Antelope Valley went commercial in July.
At the time, the generating units at Antelope Valley were delayed from going online because of reduced member loads, so no large, formal dedication was held. That is one reason for the 10-year anniversary celebration in 1994.
Richard Fockler, former Basin Electric manager of operations and engineering, said in the July 12, 1994, edition of Basin Update, “Originally, AVS was scheduled to come online in 1981. It was challenging to the start-up staff when the schedules keep changing. But, in April 1983, AVS made its first electricity, and has since turned out to be a very successful and reliable generating station.”
The 10-year celebration was marked by a visit from Sec. Hazel O’Leary from the Energy Department. The cabinet-level member of the president’s staff traveled with Secret Service agents. “It was our first encounter with the Secret Service, from an events-planning standpoint,” Hill says. “It was challenging at times because those guys have all the flexibility of concrete.”