Major solar energy project planned near New Underwood


RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - A Minnesota company plans on building a 128 megawatt solar energy project about 20 miles east of Rapid City.

Geronimo Energy is joining with Basin Electric Cooperative to build the Wild Springs solar project near New Underwood. According to a company release, it is reportedly the largest solar project in South Dakota, covering about 1,000 acres.

The solar farm should generate enough power to serve 337,000 people. They expect to be operational in 2022.

“Historically, there has been a misconception that solar in the northern regions of the United States wasn’t feasible,” stated David Reamer, President for Geronimo Energy. “Both Geronimo and Basin Electric recognized that the addition of solar to its overall generation fleet not only offers customers a clean, economic option for their electricity, but it also diversifies a utility’s portfolio.”

Geronimo Energy claims Wild Springs will offset carbon dioxide emissions by 190,000 metric tons a year.

The company also estimates the project’s economic benefits will total more than $17 million through the first 20 years of operation via new tax revenue, construction and new full-time jobs.

Geronimo operates several solar projects across South Dakota, including a recently completed 200 megawatt wind farm in Clark County.