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2024 Energy Trail Tour

We are happy to report that the educational power supply tours sponsored by Western Iowa Power Cooperative and NIPCO, the Cooperative’s power supplier, are back!!!

The tours give members the opportunity for a brief look at electric cooperative history and gain new understanding and pride in their ownership of the Cooperative. The tours are part of WIPCO’s commitment to provide education for directors, employees and member-owners. WIPCO members can enter their names in a drawing for the trip by filling out the application and returning it to a WIPCO office by May 1st, 2024

What's it all about? 

Tour the Oahe Dam and Powerhouse in Pierre, SD. One of the world’s largest earth-rolled dams, Oahe Dam and Lake provides more than $371 million in annual benefits to the American people. Other authorized benefits include flood control, power generation, recreation, navigation support, and fish and wildlife enhancement. Seven turbine generators at the Oahe Powerhouse generate a maximum capacity of 118.2 megawatts of electricity, which is enough to power the annual electric needs of 259,000 homes.

Learn about the Great Plains Synfuels Dakota Gasification Company Plant, the only commercial-scale coal gasification plant in the country that manufactures natural gas using the Lurgi gasification technology. Located NW of Beulah, ND, it is capable of producing 13 products, including synthetic natural gas (SNG), ammonium sulfate, anhydrous ammonia, carbon dioxide, cresylic acid, krypton and xenon gases, liquid nitrogen, naphtha, phenol, tar oil, and urea.

Tour the Dakota Coal Company Freedom Mine, which delivers approximately 16 million tons of lignite coal per year, making it the largest mine in the US in deliveries. The mine reclaims about 600 acres of land annually. Here you’ll learn how lignite coal is produced at a surface mine and how the land is reclaimed according to strict high environmental preservation standards. A guided drive-through tour will bring you into active mining areas where you can see giant earth moving equipment in action.

Tour the Antelope Valley Station, the newest coal-based power plant in North Dakota. Its two units, each rated at 450 megawatts, are designed to be environmentally sound. Basin Electric consistently invests in environmental control technologies for all of its facilities. At the Antelope Valley Station, you’ll learn how electricity is made. The tour includes an overview of the model room, and a guided walking tour of the power plant with stops at the turbine deck, control room, boiler, and observation deck on the 17th floor!

Energy Trail Tour Sign Up Form

Signing up does not guarantee you will go on the trip. Couples from WIPCO will be selected at random from those who sign up. Members will be notified by the end of May if they are selected to go on the trip. The out-of-pocket expense for our members is just $100 per couple. All lodging, meals, and entry fees are included in the cost. Sign-ups are due by May 1, 2024, no late applicants will be accepted. 

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Thanks for submitting!

Thank you so much for selecting us to go on
the Energy Trail Tour. We had a great time and
learned a lot about our electricity and where it
comes from. The coal mine was probably our
favorite as the bus drove right down into the
mine where they were working. How amazing
to see the land back into production after the
mining is complete. Tour guides were all great
at every location. Once again a Big Thank You!

Darrel and Nancy Reed

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