Poet constructing largest solar panels in Sioux Falls to power headquarters

Sonya Swink
Sioux Falls Argus Leader
solar panel

Big solar is coming to Sioux Falls.

Poet is building the biggest on-site solar panel farm in Sioux Falls to power its main building, and prove the concept as a selling point.

The city has approved permits for Poet to build six rows of solar panels at 4801 N. Lewis Ave, right next to its headquarters. The solar farm will generate 745,000 kWh of electricity each year, offsetting 630,000 pounds of CO2, according to the company.

As one of the world's largest producers of bio-refined products, this puts Poet into another category of energy production. 

Solar accounted for 43% of all new electricity-generating capacity added in the U.S. in 2020, according to a report from the Solar Energy Industries Association and Wood Mackenzie, two groups with vested interest in the industry. However, jobs fell. The U.S. solar industry employed 231,474 workers in 2020, a 6.7% drop from 2019, according to the Solar Institute’s 2020 nationwide jobs census.

Poet is firm on offering renewable energy to customers, and for its own work.

“As we face the impending climate crisis, we believe it is time for us to return to our roots and power our world using what God provided: the sun, the soil, and the seed,” said Jeff Broin, Poet founder and CEO in a press release.

At full run rates, Poet produces 3 billion gallons of ethanol, 14 billion pounds of distillers dried grains, and 975 million pounds of corn oil annually and is a leading purchaser of U.S. grain.

Construction is scheduled to begin in June 2021 and be completed by August.