One of 16 distribution electric cooperatives in North Dakota, Northern Plains Electric Cooperative is the largest geographically. It serves some 11,369 consumer on 6,797 miles of line in a 50-to-70-mile area from south of Jamestown to the Canadian border. From headquarter offices in Carrington and Cando and outposts in several small towns, 50 employees work full-time to provide members with electricity and to improve the quality of rural life. Formed from the consolidation of Tri-County Electric Cooperative and Baker Electric Cooperative in 1997, Northern Plains is one of 700 electric cooperatives across the nation that are branding themselves as a Touchstone Energy Cooperative. As a Touchstone Energy Cooperative, Northern Plains must undergo a compliance process every other year to document that it serves its customers with the highest levels of excellence. It must also provide evidence that it truly "has the power" of the Touchstone Energy brand: integrity, innovation, accountability and commitment to community. Northern Plains distributes electricity supplied by Basin Electric Power Cooperative and Western Area Power Administration. A member of the North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Northern Plains is governed by a 9-member board of directors that are elected by members in district elections held each year.