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Saturday, May 25, 2024

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NV conservation group supports FERC's transmission planning rule; Memorial Day weekend includes Tornadoes and record-high temperatures; A focus on the Farm Bill for Latino Advocacy Week in D.C; and Southeast Alaska is heating homes with its rainfall.

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U.S. Supreme Court allows South Carolina gerrymander that dilutes Black voters, Sen. Ted Cruz refuses to say if he'll accept 2024 election results, and Trump calls Mar-a-Lago search an attempt to have him assassinated.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

Solar projects underway in South Dakota

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Wednesday, April 24, 2024   

The construction of more solar farms in the U.S. has been contentious but a new survey shows their size makes a difference in whether solar projects are favored by neighbors.

South Dakota's largest solar installation, the Wild Springs project in New Underwood, began operations in March and covers more than 1.5 square miles. The survey showed projects under 100 megawatts are generally favored by neighbors, while larger ones like Wild Springs are unpopular.

Kristi Pritzkau, finance officer for the City of New Underwood, said the construction traffic was tough on the town of just over 600 but the project's builder, National Grid Renewables, is giving back to the community.

"They had to use our well, so they paid for the water, and they paid for a new pump for it, too," Pritzkau pointed out. "They've been really great with the city."

Prtizkau noted the company donated to the town's pool and Lions Club and has created a school scholarship program, all part of the more than $500,000 of charitable giving it has promised in the project's first 20 years of operation. It is also expected to bring in $12 million of tax revenue to the county in the same time frame.

Sioux Falls-based Missouri River Energy Services has plans to build a new solar project near Brookings and build a transmission line from South Dakota into Minnesota.

Tim Blodgett, vice president of member services and communications for the company, said federal grant programs and tax credits provide incentives and South Dakota produces more energy than it can use.

"With the development of more wind, the development of solar, there's a lot planned right now to get these resources out of this area," Blodgett explained. "Into Minneapolis and other places where there's larger demand for the energy."

Currently, more than half the state's power generation comes from wind, followed by hydropower.


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