Sioux Valley Energy is planning to build a community solar array that will be located at the Colman, SD service center. The array will have a total of 140 panels with a total capacity of 60 kW and a maximum output of 50 kW. Members of SVE will be able to purchase the output of one or more panels in the form of $1,000 for a 20 year subscription where the output will be credited to their bill every month. The output will be credited at the kWh rate that the member normally pays, regardless of when the solar production occurs compared to usage on their account, this will amount to approximately $5.50 per month on average. Paybacks range from 9 to 13.5 years depending on your tax situation (see details about payback and ROI in FAQ section). The array will be located at the Colman Service Center in a visible location along Highway 34. SVE’s Beneficial Electrification Department will install and maintain the solar array in order to gain further expertise in solar and continue to be a knowledgeable resource for our members. 

In summary:

  • $1,000 per panel subscription: 20 yr panel output agreement (10 panel maximum per member)
  • Panel output credited on monthly bill based on member’s kWh rate (approximately $5.50 per month on average)
  • Payback of initial investment ranging from 9-13.5 years (assuming inflation and potential electric rate increases)

The advantages of purchasing a subscription from a community solar array include:

  • Ability to get involved in solar for as little as $1,000 instead of a large investment into a personal solar array
  • No maintenance or insurance concerns
  • No personal land or building needed for installation
  • Purchasing output from part of a larger project provides economies of scale
  • Credited for solar production regardless of when it occurs compared to having to match usage

We are excited to kick off this project and look forward to answering any questions you may have beyond the FAQs that we have provided below.

A subscription fee of $1,000 entitles the member to the solar production of one solar panel for a period of 20 years. Maximum limit of 10 panel subscriptions per member

In total, there will be 140 panel subscriptions available for purchase. At this time, members can purchase up to 10 panel subscriptions.

A subscription can be sold and/or transferred to any Sioux Valley Energy Member or sold back to Sioux Valley Energy at a prorated amount in the event of death of subscriber or if a subscriber moves off the SVE system.

Sioux Valley Energy will own and be responsible for all maintenance for Community Solar Project and would be responsible for any damage that occurred to the array.

We estimate that there would be an average reduction of $5.50 on a monthly billing per subscription at current SVE electric rate. This bill credit will vary seasonally and would vary if your electric rate changes.

Listed below are some estimated ROI’s and paybacks for different tax situations (assuming inflation and potential electric rate increases).

  • A member who is not able to utilize any tax credits can realize an ROI of 1.7% on year 1 to 3.8% by year 20 with a simple payback on their investment of 13.5 years.
  • A member who is able to utilize the 26% federal tax credit can realize an ROI of 4.0% on year 1 to 7.0% by year 20 with a simple payback of their investment in 10.5 years.
  • A member who owns a business and is able to write off the subscription toward the business can realize an ROI in year 1 of 5.6% to 9.1% by year 20 with a simple payback of their investment in 9 years. This estimate assumes the member is in the 22% tax bracket.

*The above ROIs and paybacks are only estimates. Please consult with your tax adviser to learn how this investment can work for your specific situation.

If you are interested in purchasing the output of one or more panels or have further questions, please call Ben Pierson at 605-256-1652 or email him at

A core principle of Sioux Valley Energy is Commitment to Community

To demonstrate that, the Cooperative will consider donation requests from non-profit organizations, schools, and communities. Donation funds are limited.

For more information, contact Carrie Vugteveen at 800-234-1960 or email her at

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