Intertribal wind project could mean big things for South Dakota - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Intertribal wind project could mean big things for South Dakota

Posted: Updated:

It's domestically sourced, it can't be depleted and it creates no air pollution.

According to Bob Gough of the Intertribal Council on Utility Policy, if fully developed, South Dakota has the wind energy capabilities to meet 75% of the nation's energy needs.

However, our state's wind energy potential has been largely untapped.

Now, with the backing of the Clinton Global Initiative, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, Arent Fox and other green energy proponents, six South Dakota Tribes are working together toward a more independent, prosperous tomorrow. 

The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, Crow Creek Sioux Tribe, Oglala Sioux Tribe, Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate, and Yankton Sioux Tribe are uniting to create the Oceti Sakowin Power Authority. 

"When this project is completed, it's so large that South Dakota will go from second or third in this country, as far as base load electrical generating capacity, to first," former President Bill Clinton announced June 15.

It's a wind farm project that will unite the six Tribes for a common purpose: generating much-needed money for Tribal communities and increasing domestic energy independence.

"That's the exciting thing about it. It's the first time any of our tribes have ever come together on a project of this magnitude. We joke that the last time the Tribes came together was Little Big Horn," said Oglala Sioux Tribe Economic Development Manager Lyle Jack.

"As many people know, there's tremendous renewable energy resources throughout Indian Country. Particularly on a lot of the Reservations in South Dakota," said Rosebud Economic Development Corporation CEO Wizipan Little Elk. 

In the past, wind farm development has been difficult for Native American communities.

"Because of the way the federal regulatory system is designed, and the way the energy systems are designed, it actually creates disincentives for wind energy development. It's a lot cheaper in many instances to purchase your power from coal or nuclear or non-renewable sources," said Little Elk.

This will soon change, thanks in part to the efforts of former North Dakota Senator Byron Dorgan.

"Senator Dorgan says 'What if we put all the tribes together and we come together and try to form a power authority. You know, instead of playing with 100 megawatts, 200 megawatts, let's shoot for the moon,'" said Jack.

Tribal leaders plan to finance the project through private grants, investments and the sale of bonds.

"How we finance it is a very new way. We're going to finance this thing through the sale of bonds. Municipality bonds, power bonds. Low interest. We're working with a group called the LIATI Group – they're based in New York and they're going to set this up for us. And we're going to sell these bonds to the tune of $1.5 billion dollars," said Jack.

While this project is in its beginning stages, momentum is strong, and work is happening behind the scenes every day to make it a reality.  A reality that could change the future of the state's business climate - and the state of South Dakota's tribal communities.

"This is an amazing thing. And if it works, there are a lot of other Tribal lands and a lot of other Tribes out there who will be able to take this and make their contribution to our country's future in a way that will allow them to finally, to have a non-government, ready-cash source that will enable them to build a whole different economic future for their children and the future of our country," said Clinton. 

Wednesday, Oglala Sioux Tribe Economic Development leaders told KSFY News that through weekly conference calls, they're working with the other tribes on the governance portion of the new Oceti Sakowin Power Authority.

The group recently sent in an application for financing, and should have an update on the project within the next couple of weeks.

  • Red Door Church holds large Easter Egg Hunt, Saturday

    Red Door Church holds large Easter Egg Hunt, Saturday

    Red Door Church holds large Easter Egg Hunt, Saturday

    Saturday, April 19 2014 11:10 PM EDT2014-04-20 03:10:32 GMT
    Easter weekend is here and thousands in Sioux Falls were up early Saturday morning to celebrate it. More >>
    Easter weekend is here and thousands in Sioux Falls were up early Saturday morning to celebrate it. More >>
  • O'Gorman H.S. students to perform "Shrek, the Musical"

    O'Gorman H.S. students to perform "Shrek, the Musical"

    O'Gorman H.S. students to perform "Shrek, the Musical"

    Saturday, April 19 2014 11:05 PM EDT2014-04-20 03:05:11 GMT
    "Shrek" The Musical is coming to Sioux Falls by way of students at O'Gorman High School.More >>
    "Shrek" The Musical is coming to Sioux Falls by way of students at O'Gorman High School.More >>
  • Drivers frustrated with road construction

    Drivers frustrated with road construction

    Drivers frustrated with road construction

    Saturday, April 19 2014 9:20 PM EDT2014-04-20 01:20:42 GMT
    Road construction is in full swing in Sioux Falls. Another round of improvements are underway along Russell Street.More >>
    Road construction is in full swing in Sioux Falls. Another round of improvements are underway along Russell Street.More >>
  • After long wait, ranchers find relief from USDA

    After long wait, ranchers find relief from USDA

    After long wait, ranchers find relief from USDA

    Saturday, April 19 2014 4:32 PM EDT2014-04-19 20:32:04 GMT
    After a devastating blizzard killed thousands of cattle in October, South Dakota lawmaker and rancher Gary Cammack wondered whether his state's ranching community could recover.More >>
    After a devastating blizzard killed thousands of cattle in October, South Dakota lawmaker and rancher Gary Cammack wondered whether his state's ranching community could recover.More >>
  • Sioux Falls Storm tackles child abuse, Saturday night

    Sioux Falls Storm tackles child abuse, Saturday night

    Sioux Falls Storm tackles child abuse, Saturday night

    Saturday, April 19 2014 3:57 PM EDT2014-04-19 19:57:19 GMT
    April is National Child Abuse Prevention month and in honor of it, the Sioux Falls Storm plans to spread awareness at Saturday night's game against the Wyoming Calvary.The Storm is partnering with Children's Inn, Waterbury Heating and Cooling, Coleman and Fluxxr to raise awareness about Child Abuse.The event will seek to fulfill three main goals: to raise awareness, to encourage strong families in the Sioux Empire and to raise money for the Children's Inn.Children's Inn offers shelter, crisis...More >>
    April is National Child Abuse Prevention month and in honor of it, the Sioux Falls Storm plans to spread awareness at Saturday night's game against the Wyoming Calvary.The Storm is partnering with Children's Inn, Waterbury Heating and Cooling, Coleman and Fluxxr to raise awareness about Child Abuse.The event will seek to fulfill three main goals: to raise awareness, to encourage strong families in the Sioux Empire and to raise money for the Children's Inn.Children's Inn offers shelter, crisis...More >>
  • Vikings to add another $1.2M to stadium project

    Vikings to add another $1.2M to stadium project

    Vikings to add another $1.2M to stadium project

    Saturday, April 19 2014 3:41 PM EDT2014-04-19 19:41:21 GMT
    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The Minnesota Vikings are contributing another $1.2 million to the new stadium to put in a bigger video board on the facility's west end and for other video-related upgrades.The funding was approved Friday by the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority. It brings the total cost of the project from $975 million to $976.2 million.The team had initially agreed to contribute $477 million to the project. In November, the Vikings agreed to put up $26.4 million in contingency funds....More >>
    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The Minnesota Vikings are contributing another $1.2 million to the new stadium to put in a bigger video board on the facility's west end and for other video-related upgrades.The funding was approved Friday by the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority. It brings the total cost of the project from $975 million to $976.2 million.The team had initially agreed to contribute $477 million to the project. In November, the Vikings agreed to put up $26.4 million in contingency funds....More >>
  • SD lottery offers losing tickets a second chance

    SD lottery offers losing tickets a second chance

    SD lottery offers losing tickets a second chance

    Saturday, April 19 2014 2:57 PM EDT2014-04-19 18:57:20 GMT
    PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - The South Dakota Lottery has announced a second chance game for players with losing scratch-off tickets.The program, called Play it Again, will launch next Wednesday. Members of the Lottery Players Club can enter non-winning tickets in an online drawing.Lottery executive director Norm Lingle says other states have similar games and gamers have asked for it in South Dakota. Lingle says second chance opportunities extend the length and value of games.The first game in the pr...More >>
    PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - The South Dakota Lottery has announced a second chance game for players with losing scratch-off tickets.The program, called Play it Again, will launch next Wednesday. Members of the Lottery Players Club can enter non-winning tickets in an online drawing.Lottery executive director Norm Lingle says other states have similar games and gamers have asked for it in South Dakota. Lingle says second chance opportunities extend the length and value of games.The first game in the pr...More >>
  • Railroad group says $1 million pledged locally

    Railroad group says $1 million pledged locally

    Railroad group says $1 million pledged locally

    Saturday, April 19 2014 2:53 PM EDT2014-04-19 18:53:21 GMT
    PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - A South Dakota organization that helps raise money for railroad rehabilitation says more than $1 million has been committed locally to help match a federal grant for which the state is applying.Rails to the Future says the state is seeking $12.6 million in a Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant. The state wants to rehab the state-owned railroad from Chamberlain to Presho.The entire project is estimated to cost $29 million. Earlier this month...More >>
    PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - A South Dakota organization that helps raise money for railroad rehabilitation says more than $1 million has been committed locally to help match a federal grant for which the state is applying.Rails to the Future says the state is seeking $12.6 million in a Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant. The state wants to rehab the state-owned railroad from Chamberlain to Presho.The entire project is estimated to cost $29 million. Earlier this month...More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KSFY. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service or our EEO Report.