Model Ordinance for Siting of Wind-Energy Systems (South Dakota)

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Last modified on February 12, 2015.

Rules Regulations Policies Program

Place South Dakota

Name Model Ordinance for Siting of Wind-Energy Systems
Incentive Type Solar/Wind Permitting Standards
Applicable Sector Agricultural, Fed. Government, Institutional, Local Government, Nonprofit, Residential, Schools, State Government
Eligible Technologies Wind
Active Incentive Yes

Implementing Sector State/Territory
Energy Category Renewable Energy Incentive Programs

Date added to DSIRE 2010-01-27
Last DSIRE Review 2012-12-04

References DSIRE[1]


In 2009, the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) created a model ordinance for siting wind-energy systems. This nine-page model, developed in cooperation with multiple stakeholders, is designed for use by local governments. It includes separate provisions for small wind turbines (defined as those less than 75 feet high and used primarily for on-site electricity consumption) and for larger wind-energy systems.

With respect to small wind turbines, the model ordinance addresses setbacks, access, lighting, noise, appearance, code compliance, utility notification, abandonment, and the permitting process. For larger wind-energy systems, the model ordinance addresses mitigation measures, setbacks, electromagnetic interference, lighting, spacing, footprint minimalization, the placement of lines and cables, height, tower color and design, noise, permitting, decommissioning, and pre-construction filing.

The model ordinance specifies that all wind-energy systems must meet or exceed Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations and South Dakota statutory requirements, as well as the requirements of any other state or federal agency authorized to regulate wind-energy facilities.

South Dakota has also established a law that applies to "small wind energy systems," defined as small systems of one or more wind turbines less than 75 feet in height. For these systems, each turbine tower must be set back at least 1.1 times the height of the tower from any surrounding property line. However, if the owner of the tower obtains a written agreement from an adjacent land owner allowing the placement of the tower closer to the property line, the tower may be placed closer to the property line shared with that adjacent land owner.

Incentive Contact

Contact Name Brian Rounds
Department S.D. Public Utilities Commission

Address Capitol Building, 1st Floor
Address 2 500 East Capitol Avenue
Place Pierre, South Dakota
Zip/Postal Code 57501
Phone (605) 773-3201


Authorities (Please contact the if there are any file problems.)

Authority 1: S.D. Codified Laws § 43-13-21, et seq.
Date Effective 2009
Date Enacted 2009

  • Incentive and policy data are reviewed and approved by the N.C. Solar Center's DSIRE project staff.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1  "Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE)"