Electric co-ops and CoBank donate $15,000 to United Tribes Technical College


Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Capital Electric, and CoBank each donated $5,000 to the United Tribes Technical College. (Left to right) Mark Doyle, CoBank; Paul Fitterer, Capital Electric; Jen Holen, Basin Electric; Leander McDonald, United Tribes Technical College president; Dwight Wrangham, Capital Electric board member.

On June 22, Basin Electric matched Class C member Capital Electric’s $5,000 donation to United Tribes Technical College (UTTC), a tribal college in Bismarck, North Dakota that provides education to native and non-native students from all over the region and across the country. In addition to Basin Electric’s match, CoBank, a national cooperative bank and lender, also matched the donation, bringing the total donation to $15,000. The donations will be used for electric system improvements to buildings on campus.

“Considering the rich history of UTTC, some buildings on campus are more than 100 years old. Because of their age, they were not built to support modern technology. Common devices such as copy machines, computers, or even electric coffee pots, put a major strain on our electrical systems,” says Leander R. McDonald, United Tribes Technical College president. “The donations provided to UTTC will assist in critical improvements to our electrical infrastructure that will enhance energy efficiency and technology needed to operate in the modern world.”

There was no way to measure the amount of electricity use in each building without a meter; thus, the school was unable to determine the impact of the installation of new doors or windows on energy savings.  The new meters will be able to give the appropriate electrical measurements in individual buildings, which will allow UTTC to become more energy efficient and in turn spend less on their electric bill and more on education.

“The donations given by Basin Electric, Capital Electric, and CoBank were supplemented with $43,000 from other sources to meet the school’s goal of nearly $60,000 to begin the process of rehabilitating the school’s electrical system,” McDonald says. “The money given by these co-ops helped to put meters in 13 buildings on the north side of campus and six buildings on the main campus area.  Having meters in the buildings will allow electricians to put in a 200-amp upgrade electrical system within each of the buildings that have been upgraded.”

Enrollment at the school is around 450 students. This year, there were 93 graduates.

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