Renewable Energy in Pierre
If renewable energy is important to you, Pierre is the place to be. People living in Pierre receive 72% of their electricity from a renewable power supply –primarily the Oahe Dam.
Brad Palmer, City of Pierre Utilities Director, provided that statistic during last night’s Pierre City Commission meeting.
“Thanks to the dam, we are light years ahead of most of the country in terms of renewable energy,” said Palmer.
National research indicates that the average electric supplier in the country receives about 17% of its electric generation from a renewable power supply. Through a combination of hydroelectric power, wind, and solar power, the vast majority of energy purchased and provided by the City of Pierre is renewable.
“The Oahe Dam is the powerhouse for our electric generation,” said Palmer. “Through an agreement with the federal Western Area Power Administration (WAPA), we receive about 60% of our electric generation from the hydroelectric system at the Dam.”
Palmer went on to say that not only does the Dam provide clean energy, it is also very reliable.
“Other renewable sources like wind and solar are great, but we all know the sun doesn’t shine all the time,” said Palmer. “Hydroelectric power is statistically the most reliable renewable energy resource.”
According to Palmer, the rest of Pierre’s renewable energy is provided by wind turbines and from the one megawatt solar facility constructed at the Pierre Airport in 2016.
The City buys its power from WAPA and Missouri River Energy Services, a not-for-profit joint action agency, and then distributes that electricity to about 7,330 local customers.