Renewable Energy Business Builds Highway in Rural South Dakota with CDFI Financing
Client: Ringneck Energy
Client Location: Onida, SD
CDFI: Rural Electric Economic Development (REED) Fund
CDFI Service Area: SD
Accessibility is critical to the success of any business. In the case of South Dakota renewable energy company Ringneck Energy, which produces fuel-grade ethanol and high-protein feed source for local livestock in the town of Onida, that literally meant the construction of a new concrete highway connecting to its facility. With funds from grants and a tax increment financing (TIF) loan from the Oahe Electric Cooperative’s Rural Electric Economic Development (REED) Fund, Ringneck was able to complete construction on the highway in early 2019.
The new highway allows for significantly increased production and year-round receiving and shipping, with about 250 trucks able to reach Ringneck’s facility per day at peak times. Economic benefits extend to the local community as well. The facility is surrounded by corn producers, and with the recent downturn in agricultural production, local producers appreciate having Ringneck nearby to sell to, rather than having to ship grain out of the area. As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, the company has also begun selling its ethanol for use in hand sanitizer.
“It is a big deal to provide value to central South Dakota,” says Walt Wendland, chairman, president, and CEO of Ringneck Energy. “A combination of the latest technology, efficient energy, and good people is what leads to success.”
“The REED Fund allowed Ringneck to fulfill the vision we had for ourselves,” adds Danci Baker, CFO of Ringneck Energy. “And now we’re able to show rural South Dakota has the ability to provide sustainable businesses nationally.”