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

South Dakota State 22 solar panels avaliable

  • $1.98/W Average gross price of a solar power system as of January 2022
  • 8 years Average system payback period
  • 52 375 / year Average savings from going solar in South Dakota
  • 6 ¢ / kWh Levelized cost of solar energy
  • 6.47 kW Recommended system size
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Solar panels in South Dakota

South Dakota #23 in the US
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There is 1 solar panel pickup Location in South Dakota

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What our happy customers say

Latest customer reviews

***CAVEAT EMPTOR***

This is a tale of a remedied problem. After a month, a Single Star is now Three Star.

I ordered a set of REC Alpha Pure 400s and they arrived packed by a third party in a woefully inadequate condition strapped to a pallet with no padding and a pallet nail gouge in the bottom panel. They didn't even place them face to face like the valuable fine art they are.

When I informed Alexey of this with explicit photos establishing their third party packer's careless disregard for that non-countersunk nail, he attempted to shift the blame to transport. I'm certain Fed-Ex was not responsible for that nail.

A1 Solar eventually took responsibility, and delivered to me a new panel ***properly packed** -- they appear to have instituted a proper packing policy that will save everyone time and money.

fiat lux!

Cx
CASEY HARDISON
Via Google
Dec 19, 2021
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
I ordered some solar panels but during delivery, the top 4 were broken by the shipping department.

A1 replaced them and kept me informed when the replacements would be in. I would buy from them again.
Robert Broughton
Via Trustpilot
Nov 27, 2021
Ordering online was easy.
Price was reasonable even with shipping added. Actually, it was the best I could find with the panels I wanted.
Customer service was beyond expectations. I received a phone call after the order to verify everything. The rep also went over receiving instructions. I got an email with recieving procedure. I got a follow up call the day before the panels were to be delivered. The day of delivery, the FedEx call also called. I got a follow call afterwards verifying everything was good.I had 8 350 watt panels shipped. They arrived via FedEx on a pallet. Recieving instructions said to not sign the recieving doc until I inspected everything. I am half paralyzed so I asked my neighbor ahead of time to help unpack the panels to inspect for physical damage. The FedEx guy dropped the pallet in my driveway and handed me the package list and then he very quickly left before I was able to inspect the panels. He said he did not need a signature. My mindset immidiately turned negative since fraud, burglary, murders, etc are now legal, encouraged, and even rewarded in the US. To my relief, the panels turned out to be in good shape.
I have had several different panels prior to ordering from A1 Solar. I am used to solar panels outputting 70% or less of the rated output.I hooked up one panel yesterday and I was getting over 85% at 9:30 AM in direct sun output which really suprised me. This number is what the charge controller reported while charging a 12 volt battery bank. My current project that these panels will be used for is my second offgrid system.
Next year after I have my house electrical panels rebuilt to allow for a whole house battery bank, I will be ordering another 7KWH in panels and I plan to order those from A1 Solar Store.
Junkyard Dog
Via Google
Aug 12, 2021
Solar panels are great quality at a good price! Pick up was very easy!
Quirino Passione
Via Google
Jul 27, 2021
Great price and AWESOME service.
Sam McCleary
Via Google
Jun 23, 2021

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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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