Utilities & Infrastructure

South Dakota is one of the lowest energy cost states in the nation. South Dakota’s Public Utilities Commission has joined a coalition in opposing a federal mandate to deregulate electricity.

Dry Utilities


Black Hills Energy
Black Hills Power (BHP) is a shareholder – owned utility which has been providing electricity to the Black Hills area since 1941. BHP serves approximately 58,600 customers with local offices throughout a 9,600 square mile area in western South Dakota, eastern Wyoming, and southeastern Montana. BHP has programs and services to assist both existing businesses and potential customers, and offers flexible packages of economic development programs including an Energy Services Team to support energy efficiencies and usage. For more information, contact Mutch Usera at 605-484-1476, or go to www.blackhillspower.com.


West River Electric Association
West River Electric Association is the second largest of South Dakota’s electric cooperatives and one of the fastest growing electric cooperatives in the region. We offer a wide range of development services to prospective businesses to help expand new employment opportunities in Western South Dakota.

The professionals at West River Electric are specialists. Their varied backgrounds in economic development and the utility industry provide our clients with a wealth of information about the state, its communities, resources, business climate, financing programs and the best utility practices. Please contact Dick Johnson for more information (605) 393-1500. www.westriver.com or email: dickj@westriver.com

Electric service to the Rushmore Business Park is served by three different substations and two different transmission paths providing unmatched redundancy of service. The Business Park is part of an automatic computer controlled switching service providing back-up power in case of a damaged service usually within three seconds.

As a member-owned corporation, West River Electric is dedicated to providing over 12,000 member-owners with the best service at the lowest possible price. West River Electric offers the services of more than 50 employees, including line workers, technical and administrative staff. Consultants representing nationally recognized firms complement the expertise of our staff.

The physical plant of West River Electric consists of over 2,500 miles of line in western South Dakota located within Pennington, Meade, Haakon, Ziebach, Jackson and Shannon Counties. West River’s distribution system covers nearly 100 percent in an area of 4,500 square miles in western South Dakota.


Black Hills Electric Cooperative
Non-profit, member-owned electric distribution system incorporated in 1940. With 29 employees, BHEC serves almost 7,500 members over a 5,000 square-mile area in Pennington, Custer, Fall River, Meade, Lawrence and Shannon counties of South Dakota. BHEC is headquartered in Custer and serves many of the western and southern subdivisions of Rapid City. Black Hills Electric and neighboring cooperatives own some of the cleanest power plants in the United States with ample power supply for future growth in the region. Approximately 25% of BHEC’s power comes from Missouri River Dams, wind power (The co-ops own or buy almost all the wind power in North and South Dakota-approaching almost 650 million watts.) and waste heat recover (The co-ops own eight waste heat recovery systems on mumping stations along the Trans Canadian Pipeline from Canada to Ventura, Iowa.  Each station generates 5.5 million watts from waste heat from the compressors.)


Natural Gas

Montana-Dakota Utilities
Montana-Dakota Utilities (MDU), a division of MDU Resources Group, Inc., supplies natural gas to over  300,000 customers in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. Approximately 50,000 residential and commercial customers are served in the state of South Dakota. It serves Pierre, Camp Crook, Rapid City proper and the surrounding communities of Rapid Valley, Box Elder, Black Hawk, Piedmont,  Summerset, and Ellsworth Air Force Base. We also serve the northern Black Hills towns of Spearfish, Lead, Central City, Deadwood, Belle Fourche, St. Onge, Sturgis, Whitewood and Colony Wyoming. MDU has access to gas from the Rocky Mountain region which historically has been some of the lowest priced gas in the nation. Our retail and transportation rates are available on the internet at www.montana-dakota.com.

Wet Utilities


Rapid City supplies water to the city, Ellsworth Air Force Base, Lakota Homes, and to Rapid Valley. Chapel Lane and the City of Box Elder are supplied by a stand-by basis. The city obtains its water from the Rapid Creek Drainage Area through the water treatment plant and infiltration galleries along Rapid Creek, through Minnilusa Wells, and through Madison Wells. The drinking water has exceptional quality, moderately hard, and exceeds minimum state and federal standards.


Rapid City maintains the waste-water treatment system. There is a 30% coverage of storm sewers and a 100% coverage of sanitary sewers. The waste-water treatment facility has a capacity of 15 million gallons per day and uses an advanced, mechanical biological system. Residual sludges are treated by co-composting to Class A standards with Municipal Solid Waste.


The Black Hills of South Dakota offers a strong telecommunications infrastructure. No longer do companies have to look to large metropolitan areas for their telecommunication needs. The telecommunications infrastructure in the Black Hills has opened the entire area to endless opportunities for companies worldwide to conduct business in a location where they can enjoy the ultimate quality of life.

South Dakota’s telecommunications infrastructure is highlighted by:

  • 5,000 miles of intercity fiberoptic cable
  • digital and electronic switching
  • single-line, multi-line, or PBX trunk line services
  • self-healing network services
  • IntraLATA voice, data and interactive video service

The State of South Dakota’s Bureau of Information and Telecommunications (BIT) has launched a website devoted to sharing information on broadband coverage throughout the state.

Below are several of our leading telecommunications service providers in Rapid City and the Rushmore Region.

Vast is proud to offer over 200 channels of digital cable TV, including HD programming, local and long distance digital telephone service with the latest enhanced voice messaging features and high-speed Internet access that enables consumers to quickly download video, audio and graphic files using a cable modem. The Knology business line up features the Plexus suite of fiber connections, which includes iPlex and Matrix and is flexible to meet the needs of small to medium sized businesses. For more information, please visit Vast’s website at www.vastbroadband.com/


Century Link
Century Link has installed the latest digital technology in its Black Hills service area to offer business and residential customers a wide range of communications services. All Century Link customers are served by digital call-switching systems, and every community is connected via a fiber-optic network. Basic service offerings include: local telephone services, local long distance services, local and national directory assistance, operator services, data services and directory services. Other popular services include: call management and custom local access signaling services, i.e., Call Waiting and Caller ID; DID; Centrex Service; business continuation services; dedicated circuits (analog and digital); Internet services; Frame Relay; ISDN, DS1 (T1) and DS3 (T3) services; SwitchNet 56; Synchronous Service Transport (OC3 and above); Transparent LAN services; and video services. For more information, please visit our website at Century Link- Rapid City.


Midcontinent Communications
Midcontinent Communications is the Upper Midwest’s leading provider of cable television, local and long distance telephone service, high-speed Internet access and cable advertising services to communities in North and South Dakota, and western Minnesota. Midcontinent’s service area includes over 200 communities serving over 200,000 customers. With a Midwestern spirit of family, community, tradition and customer service, Midcontinent has set the standard as a market leader.

Midcontinent also created the Northern Plains Network, or NPNet™. With over 4,000 miles of fiber in self-healing redundant rings, NPNet is this region’s biggest, most reliable fiber optic network. Midcontinent has served both residential and business customers in the Black Hills area for over 20 years, initially as one of the state’s first competitive long distance companies, and since 2000 as a full service cable telecommunications provider. Midcontinent Communications has invested substantially to bring residential and business customers the most advanced video services including high-definition television and digital video recording, choices in broadband Internet services, data networking and a variety of options for local and long distance telephone service. For more information, please visit Midcontinent’s website at www.midcocomm.com,www.midcocomm.com/businesssolutions or call 1.800.888.1300.


Golden West
Golden West Technologies and Internet Solutions is the regional leader in Enterprise Class Unified Communications Solutions. Our staff has the experience and major industry certifications necessary to identify the right solution for virtually any business requirement. We are uniquely qualified to integrate a variety of telecommunications services to develop a communications solution ready to streamline business processes and increase profitability. Visit Golden West on the web at www.gwtis.com.

Our portfolio of solutions includes:

  • IP telephony
  • United Communications
  • Video Conferencing integration
  • Mobility and Remote worker solutions
  • Complete enterprise communications consultation


HughesNet satellite Internet has been a trusted part of many Americans’ lives for years. It uses some of the most advanced satellite technology to bring top-quality high-speed satellite Internet to customers, regardless of where they live in the contiguous United States.


DIRECTV packages fill your home with the channels you want and the entertainment you love. Enjoy hit shows, movies, sports and more on DIRECTV. In addition to a great channel selection, DIRECTV All Included packages bring you top DVR technology, tons of HD programming and more. Choose from a variety of DIRECTV packages and call to order the best one for your home!


Allconnect now services your area as a free resource for residents to view all the possible internet options at their address and compare rates all on one website. For more information, please visit AllConnect’s website at www.allconnect.com

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