South Dakota’s combination of environmental treasures, challenges and opportunities make the state a key part of ELPC’s advocacy to achieve environmental progress and economic development together. ELPC works in South Dakota to:
- Realize South Dakota’s wind energy potential — ELPC is helping craft, advance and implement supportive policies that make it easier to build, generate, transmit and sell renewable energy from South Dakota to populations centers like Chicago. As one of the windiest states, South Dakota has the potential to generate 882,000 megawatts of power, but as of 2011 only generated 785 megawatts.
- Promote farm energy and energy efficiency — ELPC advocates work with a large and diverse group of allies in South Dakota and across the country to promote the Rural Clean Energy Program (REAP) and other Farm Bill Energy Title programs that bring clean energy to thousands of farmers, ranchers, rural electric cooperatives and rural small businesses. ELPC is also working with utilities and consumer groups to design energy efficiency programs that make good economic sense for people and businesses in South Dakota.
- Protect special places like the Badlands National Park and Black Hills National Forest — ELPC works with grassroots groups in South Dakota and throughout the Midwest to watchdog our environmental heritage and ensure that fragile ecosystems and habitats are preserved.
ELPC partners with Dakota Rural Action, Center for Rural Affairs, Intertribal Council on Utility Policy, South Dakota Chapter of the Sierra Club, South Dakota Farmers Union, South Dakota Wind Energy Association and other state groups to achieve progress.
- Clean Energy – In 2009, ELPC helped create interconnection standards that make it easier for renewable energy producers to connect to the grid, paving the way for South Dakota to take advantage of its renewable energy potential.
- Clean Energy – In South Dakota, we are especially focused on the efficient and effective implementation of the federal Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which provides grant and loan guarantees to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to help produce clean energy and improve energy efficiency. REAP is a diverse program that has supported all clean energy technologies and can serve every agricultural sector. In South Dakota, REAP awarded 135 projects worth $5.3 million in grants between 2003 and 2011.
For more victories, visit our impacts page.
ELPC’s multi-disciplinary staff, Board and Advisory Councils work throughout the Midwest to help solve environmental problems.