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Wind In SD Faces Challenges Despite New Incentives



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South Dakota's new economic development incentives are making the state more competitive with neighbors on large wind projects, but other industry challenges are keeping South Dakota from tapping its potential.
    
Officials say South Dakota's up-front tax structure has been why the nation's fifth-windiest state produces just 784 megawatts in wind energy - a number more than doubled by North Dakota, nearly quadrupled by Minnesota and surpassed more than six-fold by Iowa.
    
The new law gives the state's economic board the ability to refund part or all of the sales tax for large projects over $20 million.
    
But South Dakota Wind Energy Association executive director Rob Rebenitsch says developers still need to find customers for their energy and they need access to transmission lines to get the power to those customers.
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