South Dakota solar 101: must read before you buy solar panels

Last updated 12.02.21

South Dakota State 53 solar panels available

  • $1.91 / W Average gross price of a solar power system as of March 2023
  • 8 years Average system payback period
  • $50 214 Average savings from going solar in South Dakota
  • 6 ¢ / kWh Levelized cost of solar energy
  • 6.48 kW Recommended system size

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What our happy customers say

A1 SolarStore is a great place to purchase solar panels. When I was first loaded into the page I had seen a plethora of options to choose from. I only needed one type but it was not a hard search to find what i needed. definitely a great store.
Via Google
Mar 18, 2023
There’s a lot of stores for any particular product and it’s no different for solar panels. A1solar has an easy to navigate website, an open line to communicate if a customer has any questions and most importantly they deliver a solid product. If you’re in the market for solar panels please check them out because they have a wide variety to choose from.
Nic H
Via Google
Mar 10, 2023
I was looking for a good website to purchase solar panels and I came across the A1 solar webpage. The website is straight to the point and well-designed. I am pleased to say, that I will continue to go through with this company.
Via Google
Feb 27, 2023
I like this company. Good service 👍
Daiga Ellaby
Via Google
Sep 19, 2022
I was choosing between a1solar and another store, the prices finally convinced me,
and I contacted A1. Everything was processed, packed and delivered to Fresno, CA
in under a week. We kept in contact during the installation and I got a few additional
parts from them. A1SolarStore deserves a solid five stars!
Michael Grubb
Via Google
Sep 7, 2022
I ordered some solar panels. The top 4 ones were damaged during delivery (A1 had emailed me in advance what to check for before I took delivery which I followed even though the truck driver was pushing not to inspect them as thouroughly) and A1 replaced them in a timely manner and kept me informed. The price on the panels were some of the best on the internet (delivered). I would buy from them again.
Robert Broughton
Via Google
Nov 27, 2021

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Solar laws, incentives and rebates in South Dakota you need to know

Save 30% of your PV system cost with Federal Solar Tax Credit

The US government wants more people to go solar: it’s a modern and green way of getting energy. This is why the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) program was developed. It allows American citizens to claim 30% of the cost of their installation as an income tax deduction. The cost here is not only solar panels, but also shipping, installation expenses and more. For example, if your system overall made you spend $10,000, the government returns you $3,000. To claim the ITC, complete all the necessary forms and submit them when filing your taxes.

Join Net Metering program to cover your electric bills

A solar system pays for itself primarily through the Net Metering program. The essence of it is the same across all states: you sell solar energy that you haven’t used into the commercial grid and gain credits from the utility company for it. The credits later can be used to cover your electric bills. South Dakota, unfortunately, doesn’t have a statewide Net Metering policy. That means that the options and conditions of selling solar energy into the grid have to be discussed with the utility directly. Ask your electric supplier and installer about the possibility of Net Metering beforehand.

Commercial and residential solar systems get a partial property tax exemption

In South Dakota, solar systems under 5 MW are exempt from property taxes. Not completely: the exemption stands for first $50,000 or 70% of the assessed value of a system, whichever is greater. Since the average cost of a home solar system in the US ranges from $10,000 to $30,000, that means residential installations almost always get a full exemption.

Commercial solar has an alternative tax policy in South Dakota

There is an alternative tax policy for commercial solar systems greater than 5 MW in size in South Dakota. Instead of all taxes on real and personal property established by the state, the county or the municipality, there is an annual tax of $3 per kW and an annual production tax of $0.00090 per kWh of electricity produced. This South Dakota solar incentive is aimed at speeding up the rise of the industry in the future.

Solar easements help settle the debates with neighbors

When you install a solar system, it’s important that it gets as much sunlight as possible. Sometimes objects on your neighbors’ land can deprive your installation of the sun and cast shadows over your PV modules. Therefore South Dakota solar laws include the guidelines for solar easements: documents that secure your right to adequate exposure of a system to the sunlight. Easements have to be written down and recorded in the office of the county’s register of deeds. A document can last for up to 50 years. According to South Dakota Codified Laws, it shall include:

  •  A legal description of the real properties: the one that is subject to the easement and the one that benefits from it;
  • A description of the vertical and horizontal angles (in degrees) and distances from solar system in which an obstacle to the sunlight is prohibited or limited;
  • Terms and conditions under which the easement is negotiated or may be ended;
  • Any provisions for compensation of the owner of the real property who benefits from the document in the case of interference with the enjoyment of the easement, or compensation of the one who maintains the easement;
  • Any other provision necessary or desirable to execute the instrument.

Ask local authorities about requirements for a solar permit

In the US, you often need a permit to install a solar system. Not long ago the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission released the Solar Energy Basics guide. It doesn’t mention anything about statewide requirements for solar permits. However, the officials point out that consumers should contact the utility company about connecting the system to the grid and look into local permitting requirements that can vary in cities and counties. Usually you can rely on your installer whether it is legal to install solar panels on your house in South Dakota and how to do it properly. Be aware that local authorities and utility companies can impose fees on you for inspections or permits.

Title 43 Chapter 13 Section 16.1 et seq.
South Dakota Codified Laws

Solar panels help South Dakotans survive tornadoes

South Dakota experiences 36 tornadoes on average every year. Solar panels withstand harsh weather very well and aren't afraid of tornadoes. Most tornadoes have wind speeds below 110 mph and PV modules are tested to endure 140 mph winds minimum. Therefore when you go solar, you don’t need to worry about tornadoes as a threat to your photovoltaic system. Quite the contrary: an off-grid solar system in South Dakota can supply you with electricity when the commercial grid is down, which often happens during natural disasters.

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