Search
People at Wild Springs solar event next to buses
Solar Does Good logo

128 MW project poised to be largest in South Dakota, currently under construction in Pennington County.

Minneapolis, MN (July 31, 2023) – Showcasing the environmental, social and economic benefits of solar energy projects, National Grid Renewables hosted the “Solar Does Good” community event at its 128 megawatt (MW) Wild Springs Solar Project in Pennington County, South Dakota last week. The event brought together local community members, landowners, customers and partners in celebration of the project’s construction, as well as its associated benefits for local and state communities.

The community-focused event kicked off with a welcome from Blake Nixon, President of National Grid Renewables. “We’re excited to be celebrating construction with our New Underwood landowners, neighbors and community members. Wild Springs presents an exciting opportunity to expand our footprint in South Dakota and our commitment to bring clean energy resources to its residents.”

People sitting at tables at Wild Springs event
Play Video

Wild Springs announced construction in early 2023 and is projected to be the largest solar energy project in the state to-date. Once operational, Wild Springs is anticipated to avoid 190,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually – the equivalent of removing roughly 42,000 cars from the road for one year.1 The project also expects to produce nearly $12 million in new tax revenue and donate over $500,000 through an Education Fund.

The highlight of the “Solar Does Good” event featured booths with representatives from several local community organizations, as well as the opportunity for event attendees to join National Grid Renewables in contributing to local fundraising initiatives. In total, National Grid Renewables donated $30,000 to these local organizations, furthering its charitable contribution to the local community.

“National Grid Renewables and their partners have been responsible and courteous newcomers to our local community,” said Caleb Dustman, Chief of the New Underwood Volunteer Fire Department. “From helping to improve one of the town’s municipal wells, to routing all construction traffic away from residential areas… With that kind of responsibility, I look forward to working with them in the years to come.”

Also present were executives from Basin Electric Power Cooperative (Basin) (project customer), First Solar (module provider) and Ames Construction (construction partner), who took a moment to address guests at the event.

“We are excited to add Wild Springs Solar to our total generating portfolio of over 7,000 megawatts, which blends together affordable and reliable generation into an all-of-the-above energy strategy to meet the needs of our member cooperatives over the coming decades,” said Todd Brickhouse, Basin Electric Interim Chief Executive Officer and General Manager.

“Wild Springs represents a special opportunity to expand our footprint close to home, while helping develop an exciting and evolving renewable energy market in South Dakota” said Patrick Fairl, Project Executive at Ames. “The project will employ over 250 crewmembers during the course of construction, many of whom will come right from the local communities.”

“We’re pleased that our responsibly-produced Series 6 Plus solar module technology will power Wild Springs,” said Georges Antoun, Chief Commercial Officer at First Solar. “The commitment of National Grid Renewables to American Solar supports innovation and the growth of domestic manufacturing by providing a substantial demand driver. The result isn’t only the value generated by deploying solar energy projects at scale, but also the jobs and economic value created by investments in domestic manufacturing and supply chains.”

About National Grid Renewables

National Grid Renewables develops and operates large-scale renewable energy assets across the United States, including solar, wind, and energy storage. As a farmer-friendly and community-focused business, National Grid Renewables repowers America’s electricity grid by reigniting local economies and reinvesting in a sustainable, clean energy future. National Grid Renewables supports National Grid’s vision of being at the heart of a clean, fair, and affordable energy future for all. To learn more about National Grid Renewables, visit www.nationalgridrenewables.com or follow the company on LinkedIn.
New Underwood School

Minneapolis, MN (July 24, 2023) – Today, National Grid Renewables announced its pledge to donate over $500,000 to the New Underwood, South Dakota School District, sourced from its 128 megawatt (MW) Wild Springs Solar Project (Wild Springs or the project) located in Pennington County, South Dakota. The new Wild Springs Education Fund will be administered by the New Underwood Area Community Foundation, a local fund governed by the South Dakota Community Foundation.

“The New Underwood School District appreciates the pledge of $25,000 per year for 20 years provided by the Wild Springs Education Fund,” said Katie Albers, Superintendent of the New Underwood School District. “The district will use these funds in a variety of ways to benefit our students, school and community.”

National Grid Renewables initiates charitable funds for each of its large-scale renewable energy projects and commences funding of its pledge once the project achieves commercial operation. These charitable funds are intended to provide additional assistance to community activities and opportunities within the local host communities. These gifts donated by the charitable funds are above and beyond any tax revenue delivered by National Grid Renewables’ projects.

“We are incredibly proud of the local community benefits resulting from these charitable funds,” said Joe Ibrahim, Vice President of Construction and Engineering at National Grid Renewables. “When we construct a clean energy project, we are laying down roots in a community – and we take our role as a good neighbor seriously. We have the opportunity and the responsibility to give back and be a positive impact on both the residents and the local economy.”

Wild Springs announced construction in early 2023 and is projected to be the largest solar energy project in the state to-date. Once operational, Wild Springs is anticipated to avoid 190,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually – the equivalent to removing roughly 42,000 cars from the road for one year. The project also expects to produce nearly $12 million in new tax revenue throughout the first 20 years of operation.

About National Grid Renewables

National Grid Renewables develops and operates large-scale renewable energy assets across the United States, including solar, wind, and energy storage. As a farmer-friendly and community-focused business, National Grid Renewables repowers America’s electricity grid by reigniting local economies and reinvesting in a sustainable, clean energy future. National Grid Renewables supports National Grid’s vision of being at the heart of a clean, fair, and affordable energy future for all. To learn more about National Grid Renewables, visit www.nationalgridrenewables.com or follow the company on LinkedIn.
workers walking between solar panels

 Minneapolis, MN (June 14, 2023)National Grid Renewables received recognition for its excellence in workplace safety and health during the 2023 Minnesota Safety and Health Conference. In May, National Grid Renewables was among 210 employers to be honored through the awards program, coordinated by the Minnesota Safety Council.

“Congratulations to National Grid Renewables for their hard work, attention and dedication to safety,” said Paul Aasen, president of the Minnesota Safety Council. “Keeping people safe and achieving award-winning performance is no accident. It takes everyone from the front line to executive leadership to help people work safe, drive safe and live safe.”

Since 1934, the annual Governor’s Safety Awards program has honored Minnesota employers with exceptional safety performance. Applicants are judged on several years of injury data as it compares with their industry’s national statistics and on their progress in implementing a comprehensive safety program.

Zach Chamberlain (center) from National Grid Renewables accepts the award with representatives from the MN Safety Council.

Winners are recognized at three levels:

  • Meritorious Achievement (84 winners): Incidence rates that are better than the industry average for at least three years, and a score between 50 and 74 on a 100-point safety program evaluation scale.
  • Outstanding Achievement (81 winners): Continuing improvement and/or a continuing outstanding record with incident rates that are 51%-90% better than the industry average, and a score between 75 and 90 on the safety program evaluation scale.
  • Award of Honor (45 winners): Incidence rates at least 91% better than the industry average, and a score between 91 and 100 on the safety program evaluation scale.

National Grid Renewables received an Award of Honor for Excellence in Workplace Safety. “We’re honored to receive this award,” said Gemma Smith, Vice President of S.H.E. Risk and Compliance. “Here at National Grid Renewables, we truly believe that safety is one of our core values. While our safety team helps promote this value, it’s our leadership and field teams that help make it a reality. This award recognizes all the work that our entire team has put into safety, from daily stretches and job briefs to long conversations walking through how we are performing the jobs, and recognizing team members for making tough calls and stopping the job when something doesn’t seem right.”

The Minnesota Safety Council, founded in 1928, is a non-governmental, not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in Minnesota by preventing unintentional injuries on the road, at work, at home, and in the community.

About National Grid Renewables

National Grid Renewables develops and operates large-scale renewable energy assets across the United States, including solar, wind, and energy storage. As a farmer-friendly and community-focused business, National Grid Renewables repowers America’s electricity grid by reigniting local economies and reinvesting in a sustainable, clean energy future. National Grid Renewables supports National Grid’s vision of being at the heart of a clean, fair, and affordable energy future for all. To learn more about National Grid Renewables, visit www.nationalgridrenewables.com or follow the company on Twitter or LinkedIn.

 
 
Solar panels

Onsite Construction Begins on Largest Solar Energy Project in South Dakota

128 MW Wild Springs Solar in Pennington County has PPA with Basin Electric Power Cooperative

Minneapolis, MN (January 10, 2023)National Grid Renewables announced today the start of onsite field construction at its Wild Springs Solar Project (Wild Springs) in Pennington County, South Dakota. Wild Springs, the largest solar energy project in South Dakota to-date, is a 128 megawatt (MWac) solar project located in the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) with a 114 MW Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Basin Electric Power Cooperative (Basin Electric).

“Wild Springs represents a continuation of our leadership in renewable energy and economic development in the state of South Dakota,” commented Blake Nixon, President, National Grid Renewables. “Our Crocker Wind Farm located in Clark County began operation in 2019, and now with Wild Springs, we will have nearly 330 MW of clean energy projects in the state, all of which contribute significantly to the tax base, as well as the local communities that host the projects.”

“The construction of the Wild Springs Solar Project will be a great addition to South Dakota,” said Steve Westra, Commissioner, South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED).

Wild Springs is anticipated to begin commercial operation in 2023 and is currently poised to be the largest solar energy project in the state of South Dakota. Once operational, Wild Springs is projected to avoid 190,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually and is estimated to produce $12 million in new tax revenue throughout the first 20 years of operation. Unique to National Grid Renewables, Wild Springs anticipates donating over $500,000 during the first 20 years of operation to the local community through a planned charitable fund.

Wild Springs selected Ames Construction as the Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) partner to construct the Wild Springs facility. The Renewables Group leadership at Ames Construction has over ten years of experience building solar projects across the United States. Ames Construction estimates the need to employ 250 construction workers to complete this major infrastructure project.

“Ames appreciates National Grid Renewables’ confidence in being selected as their EPC partner,” commented Craig Sandeen, Ames Renewables’ President. “We’re excited to be a part of building South Dakota’s largest solar project!”

Wild Springs will utilize next-generation Series 6 thin film solar modules developed and produced by First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR). Recently, First Solar and National Grid Renewables announced a 2 gigawatt (GW) supply of solar modules scheduled for delivery 2024-2025.

About National Grid Renewables

National Grid Renewables develops and operates large-scale renewable energy assets across the United States, including solar, wind, and energy storage. As a farmer-friendly and community-focused business, National Grid Renewables repowers America’s electricity grid by reigniting local economies and reinvesting in a sustainable, clean energy future. National Grid Renewables supports National Grid’s vision of being at the heart of a clean, fair, and affordable energy future for all. To learn more about National Grid Renewables, visit www.nationalgridrenewables.com or follow the company on Twitter or LinkedIn.

 
 
Prairie Wolf Solar Project

National Grid Renewables Secures $98 Million in Tax Equity Financing from Bank of America for 200 MW Prairie Wolf Solar Project

Minneapolis, MN (December 7, 2021) – National Grid Renewables announced today the closing of $98 million in tax equity financing from Bank of America to support its Prairie Wolf Solar Project (Prairie Wolf or the project). Prairie Wolf is a 200 megawatt (MW) solar energy project located in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) market that began construction earlier this year in Coles County, Illinois. Bank of America is the sole tax equity investor for the project.

“Financing partnerships play an important role in accelerating the growth of renewable energy projects and their associated economic benefits, as well as the decarbonization of the United States energy grid,” stated Blake Nixon, President of National Grid Renewables. “In just two years, National Grid Renewables has raised over $550M in tax equity investments in support of the company’s buildout of renewable generation facilities, and we look forward to energizing additional projects to further benefit local, state and national economies.”

Using the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) greenhouse gas equivalencies calculator, Prairie Wolf is estimated to offset carbon dioxide emissions by 285,000 metric tons annually during operation. Prairie Wolf will also benefit local and statewide economies through the production of new tax revenue, the creation of jobs, and increased local spending.

“We are pleased to support the growth of solar energy and help expand more clean energy solutions for communities across the U.S. The financing of the Prairie Wolf Solar Project will help bring much needed renewable energy to the grid in this region and support a more sustainable community,” said Todd Karas, managing director, Renewable Energy Finance at Bank of America.

Since 2007, Bank of America has deployed more than $200 billion to low-carbon, sustainable business activities. Earlier this year, it committed an additional $1 trillion in financing by 2030 to environmental transition. Since 2015, Bank of America has been a top renewable energy tax equity investor and lender in the U.S.

About National Grid Renewables

National Grid Renewables, part of the competitive, unregulated National Grid Ventures division of National Grid (NYSE: NGG), develops, owns and operates large-scale renewable energy assets across the United States, including solar, wind and battery storage. As a farmer-friendly and community-focused business, National Grid Renewables develops projects for corporations and utilities that seek to repower America’s electricity grid by reigniting local economies and reinvesting in a sustainable, clean energy future.

National Grid Renewables has a robust development pipeline of wind, solar and battery storage projects in various stages of development throughout the United States, as well as geographically diverse operational assets across the country. It supports National Grid’s vision of being at the heart of a clean, fair, and affordable energy future for all. To learn more about National Grid Renewables, visit www.nationalgridrenewables.com or follow the company on Twitter or LinkedIn.

 
 
Solar panels

Fujifilm Announces Signing of Virtual Power Purchase Agreement Offsetting 100% of Its North American Electricity Use

Agreement brings key funding to solar generation project based in Blevins, Texas

Share this
LinkedIn
Twitter

More News

Pride Employee Resource Group

Building Belonging: Pride ERG Ushers in Inclusive Community and Conversations

In this ever-evolving landscape of our fast-paced business world, cultivating community within our workplace is vital to our employees’ health. National Grid Renewables’ newest Pride Employee Resource Group (ERG) was born out of this need to formally recognize and foster an inclusive culture of belonging for our LGBTQ+ community and beyond.

Solar panels

How Is Bristol Myers Squibb Making Progress on Its Renewable Energy Goals?

Danielle Menture, BMS’ vice president of sustainability, answers five questions about what the company is doing to meet its green energy goals.

Share this
LinkedIn
Twitter

More News

Pride Employee Resource Group

Building Belonging: Pride ERG Ushers in Inclusive Community and Conversations

In this ever-evolving landscape of our fast-paced business world, cultivating community within our workplace is vital to our employees’ health. National Grid Renewables’ newest Pride Employee Resource Group (ERG) was born out of this need to formally recognize and foster an inclusive culture of belonging for our LGBTQ+ community and beyond.

Contact Form

Feedback Form

This website uses cookies to better understand how visitors use our site, for advertising, and to offer you a more personalized experience. By using this website with cookies enabled in your browser, you agree to their use by this site. For more information, please review our privacy policy.