Noem Signs Bill to Streamline Renewable Energy Potential

Source: By Office of Governor Noem • Posted: Monday, March 25, 2019

Governor Kristi Noem yesterday signed SB15, a bill to streamline the permit procedures for solar and wind energy facilities and assist the PUC in managing its docket.

“Harnessing South Dakota’s sunshine and wind is critical to expanding clean, renewable energy solutions,” said Noem. “But like any industry, renewable energy production cannot thrive under heavy regulation and long approval processes. This bill is a commonsense approach from industry experts, legislators, and the Commission to reduce regulatory redundancy, right-size the permitting process, and provide certainty to further solar and wind energy production in South Dakota.”

SB15 clarifies that the Public Utilities Commission has authority to ensure solar and wind energy facilities are permitted in a timely fashion and with public safety in mind. All projects permitted under SDCL 49-41B will benefit from the updated process. The bill also strikes duplication of efforts done at the local level.

Following Noem’s February veto of SB14, the governor’s office, the Commission, industry experts, and legislators came together to create this legislation as a product of true collaboration, input, and compromise. SB15 provides for an orderly process of accepting and hearing public comments, unifies the timeline of like-permitting processes, and grants deference during the Commission’s permitting process to permit findings the local unit of government has already decided.