Solar energy presents opportunity for South Dakota

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Solar energy installations are more common today than ever before. The industry continues to see steady growth nationwide. Despite considerable potential, South Dakota has been slower to adopt this technology. 
  • Nationally, the solar industry grew by 23.5 percent between 2019 and 2020. In South Dakota, the industry grew by only 14.3  percent during this same time.
  • Today, South Dakota ranks 50th among all U.S. states and territories in solar power production. The state receives 0.02 percent of its electricity from solar.
  • The solar power industry has created 448 jobs in South Dakota, spread over 18 companies that specialize in manufacturing, installation,  or a related activity. 
  • Most existing solar generation in South Dakota is customer-sited, small-scale generation. No utility-scale solar energy was generated  in the state in 2019.
  • Despite its small population, South Dakota is one of the top 10 states in total energy consumption per capita, due to its climate and energy-intensive industries.