Thursday, December 12, 2019

Oglala Lakota Nation hopes to drive South Dakota into the 21st Century


In 2019, the average cost of a household photovoltaic system is about $3/watt or around $12,810 when tax credits are factored in. Using those numbers a $100,000,000 investment would electrify about 7,700 homes. South Dakota is dead last in electrical power generated from the sun and only .02% of the state's electricity comes from solar sources.
The solar park would be within the Pine Ridge Reservation on the western edge of Oglala Lakota County, about 20 miles east of Buffalo Gap. Eleven miles of proposed underground transmission line would carry electricity from the park to a proposed substation in Custer County. [$100 million solar project slated for reservation moves ahead]
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 Commissioner Chris Nelson the amount of wind power generation may have reached its plateau. In an interview with WNAX Radio Nelson said he believes there will be rapid development of solar power production facilities.
The Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe is investing in a $750,000 solar power project to provide energy for partial needs at several buildings. [Moody County Enterprise]
Utilities are not your friends. Ice storms routinely knock out electric power on American Indian reservations often resulting in lost lives and the inevitable cyber attacks on the US will take down the grid for days, even months causing food shortages and mayhem. Microgrid technologies are destined to enhance tribal sovereignty, free communities from electric monopolies and net-metering only gives control back to utilities enabled by moral hazard.

Leaving the grid has never been easier so anyone who can afford to it should do it now and with Trump still in the White House destroying solar power it's never been more urgent.

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