Bill Offers Revival To S.D. Wind Production
By Victoria Wicks
Ron Rebenitsch is executive director of the South Dakota Wind Energy Association. He says Senate Bill 195, which offers financial incentives to wind developers, might help resurrect the state’s wind industry.
He and others testified at the Senate Commerce and Energy Committee that South Dakota is number four in the nation for wind potential, but the state isn’t keeping up with production. They say other states offer better tax breaks and incentives, and South Dakota is now outpaced by neighboring states.
“Projects have become stalled because of the high cost of the South Dakota tax structure, as compared to other surrounding states,” Rebenitsch says. “This bill is a first step to start us down the path of correcting that and help the wind projects to look at South Dakota as a potential site, rather than looking to other states that have lower tax regimes.”
The proposal offers to offset a developer’s upfront costs—the sales taxes on generators and other equipment and the contractor’s excise tax. In return, the developer pays more on the back end, after the turbines are built and generating power.
The committee passed the bill to the full Senate. If it passes there, it goes to the House side for debate.