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

Last updated 12.02.21

South Dakota State 52 solar panels available

  • $2.26 / W Average gross price of a solar power system as of December 2022
  • 10 years Average system payback period
  • $48 439 Average savings from going solar in South Dakota
  • 7 ¢ / kWh Levelized cost of solar energy
  • 6.47 kW Recommended system size

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in South Dakota

Solar panels in South Dakota

South Dakota #22 in the US
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What our happy customers say

Hi all, i wanted to share my experience of buying from a1solar. I needed panels for my yacht. I wanted to have only 3, but they have a minimum order size for delivery so I opted for pickup. It was good. It went smoothly. I appreciate the split payment that they offer. I basically went to the center, grabbed the panels, loaded ‘em in the truck and drove them home (gotta do it carefully though!). Nice guys too. peace, Carl
Caarl Arlac
Via Trustpilot
Oct 2, 2022
I did business with A1 about half a year ago (it’s september 22 atm) when I needed panels for my home in Phoenix. I took Panasonic, if anyone’s wondering. The system’s doing great, and I think I got really lucky with my installer and the shop as well. If I recall correctly, my order was indeed processed in 24h as promised, delivery took a bit longer than expected but it wasn’t a big deal, these were busy days for fedex. panels were in good shape. I myself checked them thoroughly.
Ryden R
Via Trustpilot
Sep 25, 2022
I like this company. Good service 👍
Daiga Ellaby
Via Google
Sep 19, 2022
i read too much about the broken panels and decided to go with the pickup option. Loved the experience overall. One of their centers was nearby, so I ordered some q cells for myself and drove there. They explained in detail how to drive the package home safely so I was really careful and yeah, now they are in my garage, waiting to be installed. Can’t really complain about anything, panels are fine, the service was cool, and the delivery was on me lol
loken
Via Trustpilot
Sep 19, 2022
So I did order a system, and everything arrived on time, and yes, one panel was broken. But you know what? I’m still going to give them 5 stars. Because 1) they warned me about the possibility of this happening and told me what to do in this case; 2) when I contacted them about it, they handled the situation professionally. I sent them all that they asked for and got a replacement relatively quickly. If it’s anyone’s fault that panels break, then it is the carrier's one. My impression: good service, great prices, commendable customer support.
Will Ghost
Via Trustpilot
Sep 14, 2022
I needed just a couple of panels for the boat, but the staff treated me like I was buying the whole warehouse. I decided to pick the order up myself, their center was within reach. Getting my panels and a Magnum inverter was easier than going for groceries. There is a lot of hard work behind this simplicity. This I know from experience
Filip Scot
Via Trustpilot
Sep 11, 2022

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

Save 26% of your PV system cost with Federal Solar Tax Credit

The main solar incentive that works across all United States is the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) program. By applying to this program, all Americans can deduct 26% of the total cost of their installation from the income tax. The PV system cost doesn’t amount to only how much you’ve spent on your solar panels, but includes the shipping and installation as well. To claim the ITC, complete all the necessary forms and submit them when filing your taxes. It makes sense to hurry up: in 2023 the Tax credit decreases to 22% and after that it’s 10% for commercial systems only.

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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