Growth Incentive program surpasses $2 million mark

July 1, 2024

Electric rebates help drive economic success since 2004

Twenty years and $2 million.

The Heartland Energy Growth Incentive Program hit both milestones this year, topping $2 million in electric rebates provided to new and expanding businesses while marking the 20th anniversary of the program.

By providing financial support to businesses throughout our customer base, Heartland Energy has assisted multiple enterprises with starting up, expanding operations, investing in new technologies and creating jobs.

Heartland Energy issued South Dakota manufacturer Slydog, Inc. $3,762 in electric rebates for the first quarter of 2024. The company specializes in high-performance, custom-made snowmobile skis and parts.

Founded by Dan Palli, Slydog utilizes cutting-edge materials like Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) to produce high-performance products. The company has earned the admiration of snowmobile and outdoor enthusiasts worldwide, solidifying its status as an industry leader.

Slydog earned over $41,000 in growth incentives when they moved into their headquarters in Madison’s Lakeview Industrial Park in 2017. Now, as they embark upon a major expansion, the small business has played a crucial role in pushing Heartland’s program past a major milestone.

Slydog owner and staff accept a growth incentive from Heartland Director of Economic Development Casey Crabtree. From left to right, Matt Palli, owner Dan Palli, Marcus Palli, Mikael Pall, and Crabtree.

About the program

The growth incentive program, in collaboration with local municipal utilities, provides rebates on electric power bills to new and expanding businesses served by a Heartland Energy wholesale utility. The initiative is designed to reduce the financial burden on businesses during start-up, allowing them to focus on growth and operations.

For new and expanding businesses, the program offers:

  • A 50% rebate on electric power bills during the first 12 months (up to $50,000 per year).
  • A 35% rebate during the next 13-24 months (up to $50,000 per year).
  • A 20% rebate during the final 25-36 months (up to $50,000 per year).

For expanding businesses, rebates are available based on increased electric load, which is measured against the previous two years’ consumption.


Driving economic growth

These rebates have proven invaluable, especially during challenging times such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Seventeen businesses that commenced operations or expanded during the pandemic have collectively received $160,983 in electric rebates from 2020 to 2023, adding approximately 1.25 million kilowatt-hours annually to Heartland’s customer base. This equates to powering about 105 homes.

The program has also been instrumental in job retention and creation. Businesses in the hospitality industry were hit especially hard during the pandemic. But the Holiday Inn and Crooked Pint in Sioux Falls, SD utilized growth incentives to strengthen their bottom line and keep staff employed.

These examples highlight the program’s effectiveness in sustaining business operations and community growth during unprecedented times.


Success story

Since 2017, Slydog has shared its Madison facility with Dakota Plastics & Machining (DPM), Palli’s other business venture. The two businesses frequently collaborate to create innovative, versatile, high-quality products.

DPM recently broadened its product market to include ag, transportation, conveyor, wastewater, recreation and more. The expansion called for new precision equipment, which increased Slydog’s electric load and qualified the business for the second round of growth incentives.

The growth incentive program has been a catalyst for economic development in Heartland’s customer communities for twenty years now, providing essential support to new and expanding businesses like Slydog and DPM. The program’s success is evident not just in numbers but in the thriving businesses and communities it supports.

“This story is a standout example of the positive impact of public-private collaboration in driving economic growth,” said Director of Economic Development Casey Crabtree. “By reducing operational costs and providing financial stability, the growth incentive program enables businesses to focus on innovation and expansion, ultimately benefitting the entire community. We are proud to partner with local utilities to ensure the economic vitality of the towns we serve continue to grow, providing a solid foundation for future development.”