South Dakota is growing its renewable energy economy in a big way. South Dakota has already received over $3 billion in wind energy investment, and there is more to come. South Dakota gets about 24% of its in-state electricity production from wind power, ranking fifth in the country and powering more than 200,000 homes. With over 1,700 megawatts (MW) of wind online, the state ranks 18th in the nation for installed capacity. In 2019, South Dakota saw the largest one-year growth rate of any state in the country. There is 1,343 MW under construction and 302 MW in advanced development. The wind industry pays $9 million in state and local taxes, and $9.8 million in land lease payments to rural landowners annually.
The upper Midwest energy sector is going through a major transition. As more states embrace wind and solar, citizens benefit from the jobs they offer. New opportunities are emerging, offering good, family-supporting wages to people in urban and rural areas. More than 2,300 South Dakotans currently work in the renewable energy sector. Renewable energy has shown to be an economic engine for South Dakota and the future looks brighter.