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 7,900 rural and suburban members and more than 10,000 meters in six counties in southwestern South Dakota. The co-op employs 27 people and is celebrating its 74th 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 2,663 miles of overhead, underground and transmission lines with an average of 3.78 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. Black Hills Electric Cooperative is governed by a seven-person board. Walker Witt is general manager.