Madison, SD—U.S. Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) today highlighted South Dakota’s potential to become a leader in the renewable energy industry as he toured the Heartland Consumers Power District’s new headquarters. The facility, completed this year, has the potential to generate at least 35 percent of its power from solar energy, uses recycled building materials and is expected to be the first Platinum Certified Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building in South Dakota.
“Heartland embraced energy efficiency and is setting an example in South Dakota,” Johnson said. “As a member of the Senate Energy Committee, I am committed to making sure South Dakota is a leader in producing renewable energy and driving innovation so businesses and homeowners in all parts of the state are able to make energy efficient improvements.”
As a member of the Senate Energy Committee, Johnson has continually pushed for investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency to put South Dakota at the forefront of a clean energy economy. Earlier this year, Johnson cosponsored the Rural Energy Efficiency Act, bipartisan legislation that would authorize the Department of Agriculture Rural Utilities Service to make loans to public power systems to lend money to consumers for the purposes of implementing energy efficient improvements to their residences.
Johnson also helped craft the American Clean Energy Leadership Act, which would expand energy development in states like South Dakota and increase production of low-cost electricity. The bill passed the Energy Committee with the support of members of both parties.
LEED, coordinated by the nationally recognized U.S. Green Buildings Council, ranks buildings based on similar criteria to evaluate overall energy and environmental efficiency. Platinum is the highest possible LEED certification.
“Improving the energy efficiency of our buildings and homes is not only good for our environment, it will bring jobs to South Dakota that cannot be outsourced,” Johnson continued.
Joining Johnson at the event were Mike McDowell, General Manager; Mike Malone, Chief Financial Officer; Russ Olson, Director of Community Development; and John Knofczynski, Manager of Engineering.
Today’s roundtable discussion is one in a series of events Johnson is holding across South Dakota during the Congressional District Work Period. He will hold additional events in Madison, Brookings, Rapid City, Custer, Aberdeen and Sioux Falls.
For more information on Senator Tim Johnson visit his website at http://johnson.senate.gov