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South Dakota Rejects Opportunity to Use Federal Money to Expand Solar Power

In another example of MAGAism stunting South Dakota’s growth, the Noem Administration has joined five other Republican-led states in refusing federal grants to boost clean energy:

The Solar for All initiative aims to lower utility costs and promote renewable energy. The state governments that have not applied for grants are all led by Republican governors: Florida, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Nevada and South Dakota.

Gov. Kristi Noem’s spokesperson, Amelia Joy, noted that 84% of South Dakota’s energy comes from renewable resources and that the federal funding could come with strings attached.

…The Inflation Reduction Act, passed by Congress and signed by President Biden in 2022, earmarks $7 billion for about 60 solar projects in the U.S.

…The Solar for All grants range from $25 million to $400 million, promising to bring rooftop residential panels, off-site solar projects, and solar installation jobs to areas largely left out of the renewable energy transition thus far [Joshua Haiar, “‘Solar for All’, But Not South Dakota: State One of Six Not Applying for Grants,” South Dakota Searchlight, 2023.12.18].

South Dakota won’t necessarily miss out completely. The Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe have applied for some Solar for All money, but they are in competition with 45 other tribes and tribal coalitions for five awards reserved for tribes. The American Solar Energy Society and the Coalition for Green Capital have also applied for grants available to nonprofits to do some solar work in South Dakota.

But South Dakota’s state government, which welcomes all the stringy money that comes with highway funds and farm subsidies and has increased South Dakota’s dependence on federal support for its state budget from 33.2% in FY2019 to 47.1% today, finds it beyond the pale to seek federal money that would help bring economically and technologically lagging rural South Dakota into the 21st century of energy generation.


  1. John 2023-12-23

    The former, Sunshine State, is destine to living in the cloud and fog of the past.

  2. Donald Pay 2023-12-23

    You can count on South Dakota to be 20-40 years behind in everything.

    I remember as a kid how Minnesota had these really swell looking (and clean) rest stops on the fully completed Interstate. They were spaced about every 60 miles apart. South Dakota, meanwhile, had your standard outdoor biffy spaced so far apart that my Dad had to pull off the partly completed Interstate to let my brother and me pee outside. About 40 years later, South Dakota finally caught up with Minnesota with some nice tipi-looking rest stops.

    That’s the South Dakota way on energy policy as well. You can call it the “Poop Outside” policy, because if it doesn’t stink and make you plug your nose, it ain’t South Dakota. Come to think of it, Iowa is like that. My Mom used to say it was the smell of money, but today I call it the smell of stupidity.

  3. Loren 2023-12-23

    It would really help balance the federal budget if these “rebel states” refused ALL federal money. Win-win! They get to thumb their nose at the feds and we get to allot the money to other purposes/states. ;-)

  4. Noem's nemesis 2023-12-23

    “Gov. Kristi Noem’s spokesperson, Amelia Joy, noted that 84% of South Dakota’s energy comes from renewable resources and that the federal funding could come with strings attached.” This is reminiscent of Noem henchman Ian Fury’s written explanation of the rejection of federal money under summer food program for low-income children: “Federal money often comes with strings attached, and more of it is often not a good thing,” Fury wrote. “Because of South Dakota’s record low unemployment rate, our robust existing food programs, and the administrative burden associated with running this program, we declined these particular federal dollars.” Heaven forbid we should task a state agency with some extra work that would very obviously benefit the state. Sadly, at the top of our governmental pyramid, we have a dolt.

  5. e platypus onion 2023-12-23

    magats are looking to turn back EPA regulations to allow all the air pollution we used to have and then grandfather even more in. There won’t be enough sunlight to charge a bill.

  6. grudznick 2023-12-23

    Happy Festivus to all you fellows out there!
    Happy Festivus!!!
    Tonight, grudznick shall feast large.

  7. grudznick 2023-12-23

    Who among you has not pooped outside in your neighbor’s back yard?
    If you have not, it is a fine Festivus to do so.
    Solar power is bunk. Studies have bunked it.

  8. Todd Epp 2023-12-23

    Grudz, I would’ve guessed you were more of poop in a Pringles can kind of guy. 🙀

  9. grudznick 2023-12-23

    I am a fellow who logs all poops. There are, coincidently, 7 styles, Mr. Epp. This is similar to the SILT, or Seven Indisputable Levels of Teacher, but also different.
    I have never tried to poop in a Pringles can, although I once did use a Lays Cheddar and Bacon bag that had more than just crumbs in the bottom. It served as a reasonable repository to ecologically carry the waste from the pristine environments in which I found myself, which was not the guest suite of a local politician.

  10. All Mammal 2023-12-23

    Not too stinj.

    Is this just another pooty-lipped sayonara we’re all so used to getting from the governor because she refuses to sign any conditional promise to not discriminate against LGBTQ boys and girls with the money or services the federal government offers us?

    Would the hungry children and other citizens of the state who are put out thanks to our governor’s selfish decisions be able to file a lawsuit and sue her? I don’t see why not. I know many folks who sure could use subsidized solar energy and extra help with $40/kid on their EBT card in the summer for food. SD is the posterchild for what these programs were intended for.

    It’s about time we take her to court for discriminating against the poor by withholding programs like these while accepting millions for her well todo cohorts.

  11. Dennis litfin 2023-12-23

    Unbelievable…. unless of course you are a red stater.

  12. Arlo Blundt 2023-12-23

    Governor Noem is a believer in “We Don’t Need No Clean Energy. ” There’s lots of coal in Wyoming and North Dakota, near by and easily accessible to all South Dakotans. The prevailing winds blow hard, and will disperse the lung clogging particulates into Iowa and Minnesota. We’ll have power and will remain the “Sunshine State.”

  13. Donald Pay 2023-12-23

    Solar power is the future today. Wind is the present. It was the future in 1990s, but South Dakota politicians were too corrupt to move toward the future and wind. It came anyway, but it took more time, and other states, including Iowa, beat us badly. That’s why they have the manufacturing facilities they have, and South Dakota has diddly squat. Jobs that didn’t come because South Dakota was too corrupt to go after them. South Dakota is always slow on the draw, because of this corruption. Solar is the future, but South Dakota is pissing on it. Bye, bye jobs. Natural gas is the present, but moving toward the past. Coal and nuclear are in the dark ages, but they have bought the corrupt Washington politicians. I mean, really, after centuries for coal and 60 years for nuclear, these energy sources would collapse without massive government subsidies, yet several years ago your Public Utilities Commission had the welcome mat out for nukes, Corruption again keeping South Dakota reaching for the 1950s, rather than jobs and the 2030s.

  14. sx123 2023-12-23

    Seens to me that SD is better suited for wind than solar year round. I know that solar is better when it’s colder out, but those cloudy days…

    Not sure why they want to waste good farm ground and put panels on it. They even brag about only building solar on tillable acres. Put panels in a pasture if they must have them.

  15. jerry 2023-12-24

    A very good political choice. Why would anyone support the lowering of energy prices? Let the Blue states have the lower prices and the benefits, we are manly men here and so are the women.

  16. grudznick 2023-12-24

    May you find a little zip-lock baggie of Sewage Ash in your stocking tomorrow, Mr. Pay.

  17. Bob Newland 2023-12-24

    May each of us find a dismembered bit of grudznutz in our dogs’ dishes in the morning.

  18. larry kurtz 2023-12-24

    In 2000 now-dead Republican South Dakota Governor Bill Janklow sold the state cement plant in Rapid City to Grupo Cementos de Chihuahua (GCC). Democratic legislators voted against Janklow’s folly because GCC was exempted from mineral severance and was allowed to mine on ground owned by School and Public Lands. Limestone-rich state trust land near Dewey was leased for a dollar for 99 years and could be renewed twice so for three bucks GCC received the mineral rights for 297 years and school kids got screwed.

    During the 1980s and 90s the cement plant returned about $11 million a year but in 2013 the legislature had to kick in $4 million to the plant’s retirement system and South Dakota still surfs the bottom for America’s education dollars. Today, West Rapid routinely endures blowing dust and air quality alerts from GCC’s quarry operations.

    According to Democratic former legislator, Kathy Tyler the Mexico-based land raper has bought up most cement companies in South Dakota with operations in Huron and even in little Holabird in Hyde County east of Pierre. She said the previous owners had no choice; they either had to sell or GCC would put them out of business.

    No corporate taxes, a compliant regulator, a dearth of environmental protection and cheap labor make South Dakota the perfect dumping ground for earth killers like coal and eyesores like wind farms. But according to Republican Public Utilities Cartel (PUC) Commissioner Chris Nelson the amount of wind power generation may have reached its plateau. In a 2019 interview with WNAX Radio Nelson said he believes there will be rapid development of solar power production facilities.

  19. larry kurtz 2023-12-24

    GCC’s Rapid City Plant partnered with Black Hills Energy to move to wind energy in the next year. The program will provide about 50% of the cement plant’s electricity needs for the next 15 years. Black Hills Energy will build a wind-power generating facility in 2020 to supply the energy. Located near Cheyenne, Wyoming, the Corriedale Wind Energy Project is anticipated to produce energy by the first quarter of 2021 that will be shared with subscribers in South Dakota and Wyoming. The program was designed for large commercial and industrial customers and governmental agencies in the company’s electric service territories in South Dakota and Wyoming.

    [KOTA teevee]

  20. e platypus onion 2023-12-24

    iowuzz’s POS, phony kristian magat guv won’t let eligible kids have 40 bucks a month because childhood obesity is running rampant.She does want that money if she can spend it her way. There are a number of magat states turning down the same bucks. Life begins at conception and ends at birth. Babies don’t need to be fed, just force birthed.

  21. John 2023-12-24

    “Beating down hard on the least fortunate. Just as Jesus taught us.”
    New MAGA motto.

  22. grudznick 2023-12-24

    Mr. Mike, you are from Iowa, and your Governor is very pretty. $40 wouldn’t even keep those kids in coffee and cigarettes for a week.

  23. Matthew k 2023-12-24

    Cory you should do a story on the abuse of school kids land. It was set up and run by the state to raise money for the schools. GFP started a walk in program for hunting they pay ranchers and farmers 3 to 5 dollars a acre for lease of there land . There is over 800000 acres of school land in SD. How come GFP gets to sell tags and advertise this land as free hunting and fishing. While stealing our kids milk money to build a 19 million dollar plus gun range. I challenge any legislator to make a law they start paying the kids!!!!

  24. grudznick 2023-12-24

    Mr. k, you know it is the commissioners of the school lands that get to make those decisions, and those commissioners do like the fellows who like to hunt for free. It is free hunting, so the GFP is advertising the truth, milk money be damned.

  25. JO 2023-12-24

    sx123 “Not sure why they want to waste good farm ground and put panels on it. They even brag about only building solar on tillable acres. “
    There is plenty of untilled land west of the Missouri River. And sunny skies that Mother Nature amply supplies for much of the year. One of the crops that would suffer is hay.

  26. grudznick 2023-12-24

    In the County of Harding, Ms. JO, there is much sunbaked earth owned by the School Lands Commissioner. And he would be silly to put solar panels on it. There is no hay, only weeds, and no cows, only antelope as thick as ticks on your dog.

  27. Arlo Blundt 2023-12-24

    Grudznick—when you speak of Harding County, you are speaking of God’s Country.

  28. Mike Lee Zitterich 2023-12-24

    I am thankful that the State Government and many local governments are finally getting the message, “WE” do not want to take anymore federal monies, knowing that it is corrupted money paid for by global bankers and fanciers. We are tired of of selling our sovereignty to other countries, and we will do just fine going forward.

    Mike Zitterich
    Minnehaha County
    Precinct Committee

  29. larry kurtz 2023-12-24

    It’s hardly surprising white Republicans in South Dakota are too smart to ignore war pork but stupid enough to refuse money for kids.

  30. e platypus onion 2023-12-24

    No free lunches, Goatzilla. Guns, ammo, hunting clothes, licenses, gasoline to get there, etc all cost beau coup bucks.

  31. John 2023-12-24

    It’s incredible that South Dakota has 2 engineering schools and a few business schools . . . and between those and the comatose state government they are unable and unwilling to figure out that solar, wind, and battery are the future of energy.

    Here’s an update on Tony Seba’s work:

  32. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2023-12-25

    John, yes, you’d think we’d charge our engineering departments with futurizing the streets and rooftops of Brookings and Rapid City.

  33. larry kurtz 2023-12-25

    How are two engineering schools and 66 counties either conservative or sustainable?

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