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South Dakota moves biggest solar project to date forward

South Dakota

South Dakota moves biggest solar project to date forward

South Dakota’s biggest solar project yet has been approved to be built near New Underwood.

The Wild Springs Solar Project is South Dakota’s first large-scale solar operation on private land needing a state permit. It will span up to 1,499 acres of privately-owned land and plans to include approximately 340,000 solar panels.

The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission approved the facility Wednesday 3-0. This approval happened after the developer submitted the decommissioning plan.

Wild Springs will be able to generate 128 megawatts of energy, according to the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission. Basin Electric Power Cooperative will purchase the energy.

“It’s extremely interesting and very exciting to see this type of renewable energy project being developed in South Dakota,” PUC Chairman Gary Hanson said. “Ten to 20 years ago, solar energy wasn’t considered a viable option for our state because we didn’t have the right climate for it.”

Wild Springs expects to complete construction by the end of 2022.

The commission approved a permit earlier this year for Lookout Solar to build on individually-owned land in Oglala Lakota County.

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