Clean Energy

Clean energy offers a significant opportunity to diversify the rural economy, create new opportunity and address the root cause of climate change.

Wind energy and other renewable energy will revitalize rural communities rich in energy resources. When the Nebraska legislature held a hearing on wind development, one group of citizens drove 400 miles to testify that for the first time in memory, there was renewed hope for the future of their community. The economics are clear.

To maximize the impact, there is a critical need for new and upgraded transmission capacity to unlock the renewable energy potential found in rural America. Both our economy and our future depend on moving power from the remote regions of the Great Plains and Upper Midwest to the demand centers that need it most.

Our goal is to better assist landowners and other rural stakeholders to ensure that clean energy transmission is built in an equitable, sustainable way - a way that works best for rural citizens and their communities. Those affected by new transmission will benefit from forming real partnerships with developers and those in the regulatory sphere, relationships that result in greater engagement in planning, new responsiveness to concerns and more equitable compensation models.

See our clean energy transmission database here. Learn about our work to replace coal fired energy with renewables (infographs to share!)

Clean Energy Notes

 

Sunshine without net metering

South Dakota once carried the official moniker of “the Sunshine State,” and is one of only three states without net metering policies. 

For the Midwest state, where 73 percent of net electricity generation comes from hydropower and wind, solar energy remains a renewables omission. But this exclusion of solar remains not because of a lack of sunshine, just a lack of policy. Without net metering, the sunshine for which South Dakota has emblazoned upon its flag exists only as a reminder of the underutilization of its solar resource.

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What are the Multi-Value Project Transmission Lines?

Think about the last time you drove into a major city.  Chances are you traveled on a highway that allowed many cars to travel quickly to their general destination.

If you imagine our highway system as transmission lines and cars as electrons, you have a good analogy to describe how our grid works.

Like highways, transmission lines carry bulk energy quickly across long distances and across state lines. But again, like highways, when transmission lines are overburdened they become less efficient and reliable.

South Dakota can lead in renewable energy

The Great Plains has a bright future in renewable energy, especially in rural areas where there is abundant space and resources are plentiful.

South Dakota ranks fifth in the U.S. for wind energy potential, capable of producing enough energy from wind to meet the state’s energy needs 300 times over. While South Dakota currently produces more than 26 percent of its energy from wind, there is still room for growth in the state.