National Grid Renewables has started onsite field construction at its 128 MWac Wild Springs Solar Project in Pennington County, South Dakota. Wild Springs represents the largest solar energy project yet in the state, located in the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) with a 114 MW power purchase agreement (PPA) with Basin Electric Power Cooperative.
“Wild Springs represents a continuation of our leadership in renewable energy and economic development in the state of South Dakota,” said 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.”
Wild Springs is anticipated to begin commercial operation in 2023 and is estimated to produce $12 million in new tax revenue throughout the first 20 years of operation.
“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).
Unique to National Grid Renewables, Wild Springs anticipates donating more than $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 more than 10 years of experience building solar projects across the United States. The contractor estimates the need to employ 250 construction workers to complete this major infrastructure project.
Wild Springs will use next-generation Series 6 thin film solar modules developed and produced by First Solar Inc. In June 2022, First Solar and National Grid Renewables announced a 2 GW supply of solar modules scheduled for delivery in 2024-2025.