South Dakota goes solar with SunPower®
The Mount Rushmore State boosts clean energy with solar power
The state of solar in South Dakota
Sunshine is far from lacking in South Dakota since the state receives a bountiful average of 213 sun-filled days each year.*Bestplaces.net, Climate in South Dakota (accessed 7/21/2021) https://www.bestplaces.net/climate/state/south-dakota Sunny South Dakota exceeds the national average, which is one reason why 81% of the buildings in South Dakota have solar viability.*Google, Project Sunroof data explorer (November 2018) https://sunroof.withgoogle.com/data-explorer/place/ChIJpTjphS1DfYcRt6SGMSnW8Ac/
Although South Dakota currently doesn’t generate as much solar energy as many other states, the region’s clean energy generation is on the upswing, and the outlook is promising.
How much solar energy does South Dakota produce?
Despite the abundance of sunshine and the state’s high potential, South Dakota isn’t yet a leading solar power producer. In 2020, solar power accounted for only 0.01% of South Dakota’s total power generation, although the state has great solar potential.*Center for Rural Affairs. Majority of Energy Produced in South Dakota Comes From Renewable Sources (December 9, 2020).
However, the tide is turning for South Dakota. The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) recently issued permits for the construction of two large-scale clean energy facilities, which will generate a total of 238 MW of electrical energy from solar power:
The Lookout Solar Project, Oglala Lakota County (110 MW)
Wild Springs Solar Project, Pennington County (128 MW).
What are the advantages of going solar in South Dakota?
South Dakota residents and business owners who go solar will take vital steps toward reducing their carbon footprint. Because solar panels for home use draw energy from the sun to produce electricity, solar power doesn’t generate harmful greenhouse gas emissions or other combustion by-products that can pollute the environment.
Homeowners can draw clean energy from utility-scale solar farms like the upcoming Wild Springs Solar Project in Pennington County. However, residential and commercial solar systems can also produce substantial electricity for their own properties without requiring significant infrastructure changes or land allocations.
When going solar, households and businesses in South Dakota can significantly reduce their monthly utility expenses by relying more on clean energy than their local power grid. Quality solar panels begin generating energy immediately. As a result, new solar system owners will see a noticeable drop in monthly electric bills soon after the solar panel installation.
How much does solar cost in South Dakota?
The cost of a home solar system can vary, even in the same state, due to a range of factors. These include the:
Condition and angle of the roof
Quality of the solar panels
Home’s energy needs
To help you understand the price of going solar in your area, we’ve analyzed SunPower price quotes, as well as quotes gathered by third-party sources for thousands of homeowners across the country.
In South Dakota, we found that the average investment to own a 5 kW solar system is $12,500, or in other words, $2.50 per watt. And that’s before considering the benefits of any available tax credits or incentives.
South Dakota offers a financial incentive for residents who want to go solar. Unfortunately, the state doesn’t have local tax credits or rebates. Instead, a 5 kW solar system can raise property value by $14,500, but the system will be exempt from their local property tax.*SolarNation.org, "Solar Power in South Dakota: All You Need to Know (accessed 7/21/2021) https://www.solar-nation.org/south-dakota The state even sweetens this property tax exemption by extending the exemption to cover the first $50,000 (or 70%, whichever is greater) of the assessed value of the property you use for producing solar power for the first four years.
Residents can also take advantage of the Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC). The ITC provides new solar system owners with a 30% tax credit for solar installed during the 2020-2022 period.*tax credits and incentives are subject to change. Visit dsireusa.org for detailed solar policy information.
What’s the best way to go solar in South Dakota?
Any South Dakota homeowner desiring to go solar will need to work with a knowledgeable and experienced solar provider. Making the switch to clean energy can be an overwhelming process, but a skilled solar installer can guide you through the entire process and help you make sure to construct an array of panels that will best suit your energy needs and budget.
It is worth noting that the solar energy solutions that work for another homeowner in the state may not be best for you. The quality of your installer’s skills and the selection of solar panels are only two of the considerations you’ll need to make. Going solar also requires you to consider the condition, location, size, and slope of your roof and the amount of energy your household needs each day.
Finding the right solar provider will help you determine the best solar system and storage options based on your property’s specific needs.
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