Geronimo Energy, a National Grid company, and Basin Electric Power Cooperative, a consumer-owned, regional cooperative, have executed a power purchase agreement (PPA) for the Wild Springs Solar Project.
Wild Springs is a 128 MW solar energy project located in Pennington County, S.D., approximately 20 miles east of Rapid City. Wild Springs is anticipated to begin operations in 2022.
Once operational, Wild Springs will be the largest solar project in South Dakota. It will be located in the service area of West River Electric Association Inc., which is a distribution electric cooperative member of Basin Electric.
“For the first time in its history, Basin Electric will buy solar generation on a large scale to serve our members. The board’s decision to add solar generation to our resource portfolio is to continue with our all-of-the-above strategy, as well as solar generation becoming a more economic energy source. We are excited about adding solar to our already diverse generation mix,” says Paul Sukut, general manager and CEO of Basin Electric.
The project has been supported by local and state community members and will bring significant economic benefits to the local area. Current estimations for the project’s economic benefits total over $17 million throughout the first 20 years of operation, including positive impacts in new tax revenue, construction jobs, new full-time jobs and charitable funds through the project’s Education Fund. The Wild Springs Education Fund alone will offer approximately $500,000 in donations to the local school districts connected to the project.
Geronimo’s South Dakota operating project portfolio includes the recently completed Crocker Wind Farm, a 200 MW wind project located in Clark County, S.D. Geronimo also successfully developed the operational Pierre Solar Project, a joint effort with the City of Pierre and Missouri River Energy Services, located in Hughes County, S.D.