PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Two projects in South Dakota that convert wind to electricity were handled differently from each other Wednesday on their state sales and use taxes.
The state Board of Economic Development approved a reinvestment payment for Meridian Wind Energy in Hyde County.
Meridian can receive up to $3,115,708, or 36% of the estimated sales tax to be paid. The Governor’s Office of Economic Development recommended approval. The state Public Utilities Commission still has to decide whether Meridian will be built.
The board however rejected a reinvestment payment sought by Day County Wind LLC. Details of its application weren’t publicly released. GOED recommended denial of its application.
Day County Wind LLC incorporated in South Dakota in 2009 during the Mike Rounds administration and received a tax break under a previous program.
The board in 2014 approved a reinvestment payment up to $4,419,600 for a subsequent related project, Day County Wind II, when Dennis Daugaard was governor. Florida-based NextEra Energy developed both.
Day County Wind sought a second tax break for renovations that GOED staff didn’t favor, because it would have been a double dip for the same project.
“We have a new administration and we’re taking a different approach,” state Economic Development Commissioner Steve Westra explained Wednesday after the meeting. He was appointed in 2019 by current Governor Kristi Noem.
The board Wednesday also approved a reinvestment payment for Dairy Wise Builders-SD, LLC up to $792,720 but not to exceed the state sales tax it paid for a project in Moody County.