Wind turbines spin against the setting sun just north of Watertown along Interstate 29. (Makenzie Huber/South Dakota Searchlight)

Utilities target small transmission upgrades to move wind from Dakotas and Minnesota

BY: - November 15, 2023

A group of utilities that once went big on building transmission is now going small to open bottlenecks and move more wind power from western Minnesota and the Dakotas. Grid North Partners, which includes 10 investor- and consumer-owned utilities, will spend roughly $130 million for 19 transmission upgrades to improve access to wind energy and […]

A natural gas meter. (Getty Images)

Federal agency threatens funding reduction over South Dakota’s lax pipeline safety enforcement

BY: - November 7, 2023

Federal regulators say they’ll reduce grant funding to South Dakota if the state doesn’t do a better job preventing excavation damage to buried pipelines.  The warning came in a letter this month from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), after a July review. For the second year in a […]

An activist fights the wind while walking along Flag Road in Oceti Sakowin Camp as blizzard conditions grip the area around the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation on Dec. 6, 2016, outside Cannon Ball, North Dakota. Native Americans and activists from around the country had been at the camp for several months trying to halt the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Regulators vote to release Dakota Access Pipeline’s road bond and public liaison officer

BY: - October 24, 2023

South Dakota utility regulators voted Tuesday in Pierre to release the road bond and the public liaison officer associated with a controversial crude oil pipeline.  The Public Utilities Commission move comes six years after the Dakota Access Pipeline’s completion in 2017. The road bond is a financial guarantee requiring the pipeline company to cover any […]

(Courtesy of Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy)

‘So many ways hydrogen can go wrong’: Hub announcements viewed with caution

BY: - October 13, 2023

The Friday announcement that seven projects had been selected to receive $7 billion in seed money to kickstart the production of clean hydrogen across the country was billed by President Joe Biden’s administration as a major step toward slashing carbon emissions, creating thousands of domestic jobs and positioning the U.S. as a clean energy leader. […]

A wind turbine on a farmer's land near Aberdeen. (Joshua Haiar/South Dakota Searchlight)

Wind is South Dakota’s role in ‘hydrogen hub’

BY: - October 13, 2023

Hydrogen power may soon spread across the country thanks to federal grants, and South Dakota wind turbines could provide some of the electricity to make it.  Hydrogen, as a gas, transforms into water when burned as fuel. While hydrogen is currently produced from fossil fuels — and used in industries such as oil refining, steel […]

The White House in Washington, D.C., on Sautrday, March 26, 2022. (Marisa Demarco/Source New Mexico)

Biden administration to send $7 billion for clean hydrogen hubs in 16 states

BY: - October 13, 2023

The Biden administration is directing $7 billion from the bipartisan infrastructure law to build seven regional hydrogen power hubs in 16 states, the White House announced Friday. The projects, each of which is a cluster of assets that produce and process hydrogen fuel as an alternative to fossil fuels, will benefit the climate, the economy […]

High-voltage electrical power lines. (Anton Petrus/Getty Images)

$9 billion project aims to bridge east and west power grids, accelerate renewable energy

BY: - October 6, 2023

There are few wind turbines west of the Missouri River in South Dakota, and some experts say a lack of transmission lines is the main reason.  A group of energy consultants is raising money to study a potential project that could change that. The $9 billion transmission line would unite the eastern and western power […]

Wind turbines in a Wisconsin field. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

A bright spot at the intersection of farming, electric vehicles and solar energy

BY: - September 30, 2023

The energy transition is in full swing across the U.S. and the world, but the changes now underway are not simple or linear. In an economy as complex and connected as ours, progress in one area will often affect other parts of the economy, creating winners and losers. And then there are the changes that […]

A drawing of a Rapid City apartment complex that would generate enough solar energy to offset all of its electricity usage. (Courtesy City of Rapid City)

Rapid City apartments would offset all their energy use with solar panels

BY: - September 9, 2023

In what’s being described as a rare project for South Dakota, a developer is planning a six-building apartment complex in Rapid City with enough solar panels to offset all of its energy use. The housing will be available to those earning 60% or less than the average income in the area. The project — one […]

The headquarters of Dakota Energy in Huron. (John Hult/South Dakota Searchlight)

Huron electric co-op members throw support behind pro-East River board members

BY: - August 29, 2023

Member-owners of a small electric distribution cooperative in eastern South Dakota have elected three new board members after a nearly three-year legal saga that saw the former leadership attempt to break off its contract with a Madison-based power supplier. It’s the second board election in as many years in which Dakota Energy’s member-owners opted to […]

Elizabeth Burns-Thompson, vice president of government and public affairs for Navigator CO2, debates state Rep. Jon Hansen, R-Dell Rapids, on Aug. 22, 2023, at the Dacotah Bank Event Center in Brookings as moderator Sara Frankenstein looks on. (Joshua Haiar/South Dakota Searchlight)

During debate with lawmaker, carbon pipeline executive calls eminent domain a ‘last resort’

BY: - August 22, 2023

BROOKINGS — An executive for a carbon dioxide pipeline company said during a debate Tuesday evening that eminent domain is “a tool of absolute last resort.” Elizabeth Burns-Thompson, vice president of government and public affairs for Navigator CO2, debated state Rep. Jon Hansen, R-Dell Rapids, at the Dacotah Bank Event Center. Hansen is a critic […]

A map of Summit Carbon Solutions' originally proposed carbon-capture pipeline route. (Courtesy of Summit Carbon Solutions)

Summit adjusts proposed pipeline route in North Dakota

BY: - August 21, 2023

Summit Carbon Solutions would build its proposed carbon dioxide pipeline farther away from North Dakota’s capital city, according to a new route that is meant to assuage commissioners who denied the company a permit this month. The state is an important part of Summit’s project, which would transport captured carbon dioxide from more than 30 […]