SD's Pine Ridge Reservation Approved for $100M Solar Project
Thursday, February 6, 2020
RAPID CITY, S.D. -- The Pine Ridge Reservation in southwestern South Dakota will be the site of a $100 million solar electricity generation project.
The state's Public Utilities Commission this week approved the Lookout Solar Park for property about 80 miles from Rapid City.
To build the state's first large scale solar facility, a German company will lease the land from the Rapp family.
Lynn Rapp is a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe who represents the family and hopes the historic project will be an example for other Native American reservations.
"And then know that when a dollar is spent, it turns over seven times in the community where it is used and our reservation towns are desperate for cash," she states.
The lease agreement is the first of its kind for the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
The company involved with the reservation to build the solar project has agreed to follow 37 conditions during construction related to restoration, threatened and endangered species, cultural resources reporting and other requirements.
The Pine Ridge project, capable of generating up to 110 megawatts of electricity, will have 500,000 solar panels in arrays across 250 acres.
Rapp says there's more than 800 acres at the site, and eventually she'd also like to see a wind farm built there.
"There will be 200 to 400 jobs provided while we are in construction, and we will be training people while they're working and we give Indian preference, according to the federal law," she points out.
Rapp hopes once Native people are trained to work on solar installations, they will use those skills to build similar projects.
The solar facility is expected to be complete by the second quarter of 2021.
get more stories like this via email
This fall, additional free classes will be offered in Minnesota for people thinking about a career as a certified nursing assistant. It follows an …
Health and Wellness
Legislation signed into law this month by Gov. Charlie Baker is expected to bring updates long overdue to mental-health services in Massachusetts…
The Maine Department of Transportation is "going green," with plans to install solar arrays on three state-owned properties in Augusta. The …
Numerous community advocates are calling on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to build a long-proposed subway station at 10th Avenue and 41st …
Relief may be on the way for many older Nevadans who need hearing aids but can't afford to pay $3,000 to $5,000 for a pair. The Food and Drug …
Workers in Michigan won major victories recently as a minimum-wage increase and employer paid sick time program were reinstated by court order…
Small-business owners and entrepreneurs in a handful of towns across the state have resources at their fingertips to help renovate and reuse historic …
Health and Wellness
Your first heartbreak, accident, loss of a loved-one or being chased by a dog - these and so many other incidents can be lasting traumatic …