ELPC is working with local, state and federal leaders to implement the Rural Energy for America Program, or REAP, a part of the federal Farm Bill that provides grants and loan guarantees to farmers and rural small business owners who install clean energy projects. ELPC works to advance REAP because it focuses on clean energy diversification and independence, rural economic development, job creation, and improved environmental quality for all Americans. Part of our work involves technical outreach for state energy and agriculture officials and key business groups (bankers, energy efficiency consultants, wind developers, etc.) to identify and implement the best value-added leveraging opportunities and improve program education. We also provide coordination and leadership for a growing, diverse ag-energy coalition of farm, agricultural commodity, rural economic development, sustainable energy, environmental and other organizations supporting and promoting REAP and other ag energy programs in the Farm Bill. Learn more about ELPC’s farm energy efforts at www.FarmEnergy.org.
ELPC is working with the South Dakota legislature and South Dakota Public Utilities Commission to advance policies that drive the development of clean renewable energy and energy efficiency. For example, ELPC and the South Dakota Wind Energy Association partnered to draft and advocate legislation that modified a contractor’s excise tax for large-scale wind projects so that most of the tax can be paid when the wind farms are generating electricity. This change is making South Dakota more competitive in the wind industry field. Also, ELPC is working with the City of Sioux Falls and Xcel Energy to implement real energy efficiency programs that the utility already offers in other service territories. Finally, ELPC has authored and is working to advance “net metering” standards that allow customers to sell excess electricity back to the grid and give customers a financial incentive to invest in renewable sources of energy. Read more about renewable energy solutions.