Black Hills Electric Cooperative's headquarters is located in the hills of western South Dakota near the town of Custer. The cooperative provides electricity to more than 8,400 rural and suburban members and more than 12,400 meters in six counties in southwestern South Dakota. The co-op employs 28 people and is celebrating its 78th 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. Black Hills Electric Cooperative maintains 2,700 miles of overhead, underground, and transmission lines with an average of 4.06 members per mile of line. The co-op purchases its power from Basin Electric Power Cooperative and is a member of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. A seven-person board governs Black Hills Electric Cooperative, and Walker C. Witt is the CEO.