Dakota Energy Board files appeal to judge’s ruling in lawsuit against East River Electric

The Dakota Energy Cooperative Board has filed an appeal to the recent summary judgment ruling by Federal Judge Lawrence Piersol regarding its lawsuit against East River Electric.  The Board stated that the appeal is a “critical next step to secure more affordable energy” and to protect Dakota Energy Cooperative member-owners “from the collusion that runs rampant between East River and Basin Electric” Cooperatives.  

In November 2020, Dakota Energy, an electric co-op headquartered in Huron which serves consumers in Beadle, Hand and Hyde counties, filed a lawsuit against East River Electric in an attempt to have East River give Dakota Energy a buyout number so they could terminate their contract before the agreed upon date of December 31st, 2075. 

Dakota Energy Board Chair Chase Binger said that “the stakes have never been higher to chart a course for the future of our cooperative”.  

The Board was disappointed in Judge Piersol’s ruling. They said he ignored key facts that support a positive outcome for Dakota Energy member-owners.

The DEC Board said the appeal could result in significant savings for its member-owners. They said that a number of co-ops have successfully exited their long term contracts and are passing on these savings to their members. DEC financials show that even a one-cent savings per kilowatt-hour would reduce Dakota Energy’s members’ energy costs by two-and-a-half-million dollars a year.