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LETTER: Vote yes on HB 1216 for more jobs, water

To the Editor: For more than 40 years, federal law has required that utility companies reimburse customers for excess energy produced from individual systems based on sources such as solar and wind. This excess energy generated by customers sent ...

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To the Editor:

For more than 40 years, federal law has required that utility companies reimburse customers for excess energy produced from individual systems based on sources such as solar and wind.

This excess energy generated by customers sent back to the grid can help utility companies avoid certain costs, such as building a new power plant or paying high rates to distant power companies with excess power to sell during high-demand times, such as summer.

However, in South Dakota, there is no transparent process by which this customer excess energy rate (avoided cost) is calculated. This has the effect of dampening South Dakota's economy.

Take a look at Arizona-in 2014 it reported 9,170 solar jobs at 637 establishments, according to www.thesolarfoundation.org . South Dakota has just a handful of such companies (three at last count). Talk about room for growth.

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Arizona reports nearly 1.3 billion gallons of water could be saved with solar utility scale photovoltaics in the year 2040.

Want more jobs? More water? Contact your state legislators today and ask them to vote yes on HB 1216.

Gena Parkhurst

Rapid City

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