Tuesday morning, Oct. 1, at a regularly scheduled Spink County Commissioners meeting, Tulare Energy, LLC received unanimous approval of the Tulare Solar Project Conditional Use Permit. The approval concluded four months of county, township and landowner meetings. The permit included 15 conditions that will be met by the Tulare Solar Project before Spink County will issue the construction building permit.
Roland Jurgens, project manager for Tulare Energy, LLC, updated the Board of Adjustments on the project and answered questions from the members of the board and county staff. Jurgens stated that if the conditional use permit is approved, then this is the beginning of the path to construction not the end. The project will continue to work with county staff and local officials as the final plans are developed and approved before the project’s building permit is issued next year.
Bruce Blume, president of Tulare, explained the economic impacts of the project. Blume said that through local tax payments, guaranteed land payments, new jobs, and local purchases the Tulare Solar Project will create approximately one million dollars of new direct economic impact every year in Spink County.
Blume said that in particular, the Tulare Solar project will generate approximately $72,000 in new tax revenue for Spink County each year, $30,000 in new tax revenue for townships each year, and over $720,000 in new tax revenue for Tulare School District along with $2.3 million in new tax revenue for kindergarten through 12th grade education in South Dakota over 30 years.
“With the project we are going to take something that we get every day for free — sunlight — and turn it into over a million dollars of economic impact for the residents of Spink County for the next 30 years or more,” said Blume.