Black Hills Electric Cooperative's headquarters is located high in the mountains of western South Dakota near the town of Custer. The cooperative provides electricity to more than 7,800 rural members in six counties in western and southwestern South Dakota. The co-op employs 28 people and is celebrating its 73rd year of service.Though the co-op was formed in 1940, because of World War II, it did not begin serving members until 1945. The co-op's 5,000 square mile service territory includes mountains, foothills and plains. The co-op purchases its power from Basin Electric Power Cooperative and is a member of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. Black Hills Electric Cooperative is governed by a seven-person board. Its manager is Walker Witt.