Clean Energy News

Rural energy program benefits South Dakota businesses

Last month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded more than $380,000 to assist South Dakota businesses in reducing their energy costs and improving energy efficiency. The funding comes from the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which provides grants and loans to rural businesses, ag producers, and farmers. REAP funds must be used for the installation of renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements. 

Cost of wind projects continues steady decline 

The U.S. wind industry is booming—expanding from 1.5 gigawatts of cumulative installed capacity in 1998 to 96.4 gigawatts of installed capacity in 2018.

At the same time, the cost of these projects continues to go down. According to the newly-released 2018 Wind Market Technologies Report from the U.S. Department of Energy, the average cost of constructing a wind energy project in 1983 was $4,478 per kilowatt hour. In 2018, the cost dropped to just $1,468 per kilowatt hour.

Fact sheets address common questions about wind energy

Wind energy developed across the U.S. has brought significant opportunity to rural communities, with new projects generating clean energy, in addition to economic benefits for nearby towns and rural areas.

These benefits include offering an additional source of income for farm and ranch families through land-lease payments, creating new short-term jobs during the construction of a project, as well as long-term operations jobs, and adding another source of tax revenue for rural counties that allows them to fund local schools, emergency services, and even road repairs.

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