Solar Power

Seth Tupper / SDPB

Almost every state in the nation produces more solar energy than South Dakota, but that hasn’t stopped a South Dakota company from becoming one of the nation’s top solar contractors.

GenPro Energy Solutions began selling solar water pumps for livestock in 2003. Seventeen years later, people at the company’s growing Piedmont plant are doing all kinds of energy-related things.


The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission approved a construction permit for a solar panel project in Oglala Lakota County. The solar facility can produce up to 110 megawatts of electricity.





It’s taken a little over a year for the construction permit to be approved by the South Dakota PUC. the PUC, the Lookout Solar Project, and the Bureau of Indian affairs drafted thirty-seven conditions of the facility being built.



Henry Red Cloud’s Journey To Solar Power

Feb 13, 2020
Chynna Lockett

The Pine Ridge Reservation estimates 80% unemployment - and that can make every job important. Renewable energy installation can create jobs. In fact, a Pine Ridge man trains Native people around the country on the skills they need to work with solar energy. 

Lakota Solar Enterprises is based on a plot of land off a road on the Pine Ridge Reservation. There are trailers filled with solar generators and panels scattered among small buildings. Henry Red Cloud founded the company. He grew up in Pine Ridge and moved away for a career in construction. 

In The Moment ... August 9, 2018 Show 397 Hour 1

MIT Solve Fellow Phyllis Young previews the Oceti Sakowin Energy Summit August 12-13 on the Standing Rock Reservation.

Fellows will bring ideas and advice on renewable energy, food, water, economic prosperity, sovereignty and more.

Young is also an organizer for the Lakota People's Law Project.

Dakota Midday: Solarize South Dakota

Nov 17, 2015
Charles Michael Ray

In this segment SDPB’s Charles Michael Ray speaks with Don Kelly an advocate for more home based renewable energy.  He’s one of those behind an effort called Solarize South Dakota that is backed by the group Dakota Rural Action.   Kelly lives in an all solar home that is off the grid in the Black Hills.

BH Power Backs Off As Solar Generators Push Fair Rates

Sep 29, 2014

Black Hills Power recently backed down on a plan to increase electricity rates on homeowners who put up solar panels or a wind turbine.

Company officials say people who generate their own power at home and pump it back into the grid don’t pay for the cost of maintaining the power system.

But some of those who generate home power refute this notion.   They say, in every state that boarders South Dakota alternative power generators are paid a fair rate for the electricity they put back into the grid.    

SDPB’s Charles Michael Ray has more.

Net Metering

Feb 26, 2013

Net metering is an electricity policy for consumers who own renewable energy facilities or V2G electric vehicles.  Under net metering, a system owner receives retail credit for at least a portion of the electricity they generate.  On Tuesday's Dakota Midday, South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Chair Gary Hanson and Dakota Rural Action representative Wallace Enga discussed the concept of net metering.