Earlier this month the State Public Utilities Commission (PUC) issued a permit for construction of a large-scale solar facility in South Central South Dakota. On Tuesday, representatives of Basin Electric Power Cooperative delivered details of the 128-megawatt solar project in the halls of the South Dakota State Capitol in Pierre.

On Dakota News Now Tuesday evening, the Geronimo Energy Senior Project Developer Jay Hesse revealed the Wild Springs Solar Project will be located east of New Underwood, South Dakota and will cover over 1,000 acres.

According to Hesse, the Wild Springs Solar Project will be the largest in state history and will serve roughly 337,000 South Dakotans.


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The State Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has issued a permit for the construction of a large-scale solar facility in South Central South Dakota.

According to the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission release, approval has been granted for a construction permit for the Lookout Solar Project, a solar generation facility in Oglala Lakota County on the Pine Ridge Reservation. When completed the facility will be capable of generating up to 110 megawatts of electricity.

Before approval was given several provisions needed approval. The revised agreement specified 37 conditions that must be adhered to during the construction and operation of the project.

Lookout Solar expects to complete construction of the $100 million facility, built on approximately 810 acres on the Pine Ridge Reservation, by the second quarter of 2021.

The proposed project is expected to include up to 500,000 solar panels, an energy storage facility, access roads, underground 34.5 kV electrical collector lines, an underground fiber-optic cable, a collection substation, an operations, and maintenance facility and temporary construction areas.

“The one thing that I want to highlight in this particular project is the fact that these folks are placing their transmission line underground," said PUC Vice Chairman Chris Nelson.

Upon completion, Lookout Solar will interconnect to the high-voltage transmission lines owned by Western Area Power Administration near Cottonwood Cutoff. A buyer for the power produced by the project has not been announced.

Source: South Dakota Public Utilities Commission

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