Commercial operation begins at Wild Springs Solar

The Wild Springs Solar Project, a 128-megawatt project in Pennington County, South Dakota, began commercial operation on March 28. Basin Electric will purchase 114 megawatts of the output.

The project, owned and operated by National Grid Renewables, is the largest solar project to be built in South Dakota. Wild Springs Solar is located near New Underwood, South Dakota, in the service area of Basin Electric Class C member West River Electric Association. Construction of the project began in January 2023.

“This new solar project will help provide affordable, renewable electricity to Basin Electric’s members and provide additional power supply diversity for years to come,” Benjamin Hertz, Basin Electric manager of Power Supply Planning, said.

This marks the first time in Basin Electric’s history that the cooperative will purchase utility-scale solar generation to serve its members.

“We are continually looking for the best ways to provide reliable, affordable, and safe power to our members. We are proud to be part of this project that will help provide our members with solar generation,” Chris Baumgartner, Basin Electric senior vice president of Member and External Relations, said. “Basin Electric has more than 2,100 megawatts of renewable capacity in its portfolio, including Wild Springs Solar, and is the largest renewable portfolio of any generation and transmission cooperative in the nation. Our diverse portfolio, which also includes coal, natural gas, hydro, diesel, and wind, allows us to maintain reliability at the lowest-possible cost for our members regardless of the weather.”