South Dakota solar 101: must read before you buy solar panels
Last updated 12.02.21
Benefit from a PV system
in South Dakota
5.01 hours of peak sunlight
There is enough sun for solar panels in South Dakota to be productive and profitable
8 years payback time
A solar power system in South Dakota pays for itself a couple of times during its lifespan
Freeze your property taxes
Home solar systems for the most part are exempt from property tax assessment, but still increase the market value of your house
Reduce the cost of your system by 26%
Get a quarter of the PV system cost off your taxes with the Federal Solar Tax Credit
The law is on your side
South Dakota provides solar easements, which protect the landowner’s right to access sunlight
South Dakota #22 in the US
- $50 634 Average savings from going solar in South Dakota
- 12 528 kWh/year Average electricity consumption of a FL household
- 7 739 kWh/year AC energy output of a 5 kW solar system installed in South Dakota
- 12 ¢ /kWh The cost of electricity today in South Dakota
- 24 ¢ /kWh The forecast average utility price over the next 25 years
- $1.83/WAverage gross price of a solar power system as of September 2023
What our happy customers say
I am new to using solar and had a great experience with A1Solar. I ordered 6 pcs of Q Cells 400W solar panels from them and delivery was fast / customer service was great! I look forward to buying from them again in the future.
I have ordered 2 solar panels from A1solarstore on pickup, but had some problems paying at the checkout. However, finally it went well.
Ordered panels for my house due to the nice pricing, came at super good quality. Definitely glad I picked here. (For those wondering I ordered 16pcs of Aptos Solar 370W!)
I was new to the Solar Panel Industry, just browsing for information when I came across A1 SolarStore. After doing researching and educating myself on products through their easy to navigate website I made my first purchase. I couldn't be happier by choosing to go through A1. The customer service I received was very beneficial on choosing Suntech 370 W Solar Panel. Best part of A1 is that the pickup locations was extremely convenient only miles from my home.
If you are looking to purchase Solar Panels, I would highly recommend A1 Solar store. I did not have much knowledge on Solar Panels and/or the benefits of them. A1 SolarStore customer service and knowledge of their panels was outstanding. My purchase of the Silfab 400W panels was made easy and quick with a pick up location right in my area.
I recently ordered a 8 piece of Aptos Solar 370W Solar Panels from A1 Solar Store. Everything was great from start to finish. Their website's easy navigation allowed me to compare different panels and view my options. The pick up location was extremely convenient and located close to my home. Overall very impressed with A1 SolarStore and product purchased. I highly recommend it for anyone in the market for Solar Panels.
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.
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.