The Energy Generation Conference originated in 1978 as a Power Plant Operations Conference held in conjunction with the ND Rural Electric Cooperatives’ Annual Statewide Apprenticeship Training & Safety Conference. A small group of power plant personnel planned the agenda with sessions presented by employees from local power plants and suppliers of power plant products and services.
To better accommodate the different training needs of each era, the BSC Power Plant Program Advisory Board asked if BSC could start their own training program and separate from the ND REC's Apprenticeship Training & Safety Conferenced. Bismarck Junior College (now Bismarck State College) came on board to coordinate the first Annual Energy Generation Conference in 1980.
The original planning committee had eight members, and there were originally eight company sponsors. Today, there are 30 members on the planning committee, and 27 supporting companies. In addition, in 1978, there were six vendor displays at the Bismarck Holiday Inn, and in 2016, 315 vendor booths were sold, filling the Bismarck Events Center’s Exhibit Halls B-D. Over the past 30 years, the conference has grown from a local event of 100 participants into an international event attended by over 2700. Through the contributions of many, the Energy Generation Conference has surpassed the expectations of those who began it over 35 years ago.