Each year, Verendrye Electric Cooperative, headquartered in Velva, ND, arranges a handful of energy tours for key accounts and other VIPs. They visit Basin Electric’s PrairieWinds 1 wind project near Minot, ND, and Antelope Valley Station, Dakota Gasification Company’s Great Plains Synfuels Plant, and The Coteau Properties Company’s Freedom Mine, all near Beulah, ND.
Tom Rafferty, Verendrye Electric Minot community relations and communications manager, says Verendrye sees a lot of value in these tours. “People we have taken on the energy tours are absolutely fascinated with what they see. It gives them a better understanding of how their power is made and the costs involved,” he says. “The tour is a great educational tool, but it also builds goodwill because people have so much fun when they go. We often get people who have heard about the tour from a friend and they ask us if they can go next.”
Roscoe Streyle was one of the tour participants. He tweeted while at the Freedom Mine.