Solar energy presents opportunity for South Dakota


Solar energy installations are more common today than ever before. The industry continues to see steady growth nationwide. Despite considerable  potential, South Dakota has been slower to adopt this technology. 

  • Nationally, the solar industry grew by 23.5  percent between 2019 and 2020. In South  Dakota, the industry grew by only 14.3  percent during this same time.
  • Today, South Dakota ranks 50th among all U.S. states and territories in solar power production. The state receives 0.02 percent of its electricity from solar.
  • The solar power industry has created 448 jobs in South Dakota, spread over 18 companies  that specialize in manufacturing, installation,  or a related activity. 
  • Most existing solar generation in South Dakota is customer-sited, small-scale generation.  No utility-scale solar energy was generated  in the state in 2019.
  • Despite its small population, South Dakota  is one of the top 10 states in total energy  consumption per capita, due to its climate  and energy-intensive industries.