South Dakota Business Leaders Join National Organization to Tout Clean Energy Jobs in Rural America

Sioux Falls Business Leaders Jim Mikel and Paul Batcheller to Advocate for Clean Energy Jobs

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Two Sioux Falls, SD CEO’s – Jim Mikel of RENEW Energy and Paul Batcheller of PrairieGold Solar – have joined the Advisory Board of New Energy America, an organization created to promote clean energy jobs in rural America. The group, launched in September with support from rural clean energy entrepreneurs, farmers, and former leaders in Congress, released the first Clean Energy Jobs in Rural America Report, which contains a detailed analysis of clean energy jobs in each of the 50 states. The report shows that clean energy jobs outpace fossil energy jobs in 41 states.

“Jim and Paul will be great additions to our advisory board,” said Mike Carr, Executive Director of NEA. “Over the last few decades, they’ve seen first-hand the sustained job growth that the new energy economy is bringing to rural states like South Dakota, Iowa and Nebraska.”

New Energy America will engage lawmakers representing rural communities to demonstrate how policies that support the deployment of clean energy create jobs for their constituents. While many politicians in these states have traditionally supported fossil fuels, the data is clear that policies that support reducing emissions are creating good jobs in rural America.

Jim Mikel is the President of RENEW Energy, the largest Independent Service Provider in the US Wind Industry with 12 service divisions and over 230 employees. RENEW has a strong customer base in North America which they service from eight locations across the country, including their headquarters and remanufacturing facility in Sioux Falls, SD. Jim joins New Energy America with over 21 years of wind industry experience.

Paul Batcheller, CEO of PrairieGold Solar, also resides in Sioux Falls. PraireGold Solar invests in and builds distributed-scale solar projects throughout the United States. In addition, Paul serves as a Partner at PrairieGold Venture Partners, a Sioux Falls, SD-based venture capital firm he co-founded in 2004. He has served as a director on the board of a variety of clean energy companies throughout the United States.

In addition to Jim Mikel and Paul Batcehller, the advisory board also includes; Roger Johnson the President of the National Farmers Union; Jon Powers the Co-Founder of Clean Capital; and Former Congressman George Miller.

For more information on RENEW Energy, please visit and for more information on Prairie Gold Solar, please visit

The Rural Clean Energy Jobs Report, and more information about New Energy America, can be found at

RENEW Energy, Inc. Honored by Department of Defense for Extraordinary Support of the South Dakota Guard and Reserve

South Dakota Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense (DoD) office, announced today that RENEW Energy, Inc. (RENEW) was honored with an Above and Beyond Award in recognition of extraordinary support of its employees who serve in the South Dakota Guard and Reserve.

The ESGR Above and Beyond Award was created by ESGR to publicly recognize American employers providing extraordinary patriotic support and cooperation to their employees, who like the citizen warriors before them, have answered their nation’s call to serve. Supportive employers are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s Guard and Reserve units.

RENEW joins thousands of American employers who have reviewed and amended their current human resources policies to ensure compliance with the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). Many employers provide support far beyond what USERRA requires to include pay differential to offset the loss of wages, and extension of health care benefits which complement coverage provided by the military when their employees are mobilized.

RENEW was nominated by Staff Sgt. Daniel Noeldner and Sgt. JD Hanson with the South Dakota Army National Guard.  Several policies that RENEW goes Above and Beyond include covering all travel expenses for guard drill, and continuation of benefits when serving; going beyond business practices to accommodate schedules, training, and events; and hiring preferences for active military and veterans.  Noeldner and Hanson also indicated that RENEW provides assistance and resources to members of the military during their service. They keep in excellent communication and focus on the needs of service members and their families.

ESGR seeks to foster a culture in which all employers support and value the employment and military service of members of the National Guard and Reserve in the United States. ESGR facilitates and promotes a cooperative culture of employer support for National Guard and Reserve service by developing and advocating mutually beneficial initiatives, recognizing outstanding employer support, increasing awareness of applicable laws and policies, resolving potential conflicts between employers and their service members, and acting as the employers’ principal advocate within DoD. Paramount to ESGR's mission is encouraging employment of Guardsmen and Reservists who bring integrity, global perspective and proven leadership to the civilian workforce. 

RENEW accepts an Above and Beyond Award in recognition of extraordinary support of its employees serving in the South Dakota Guard and Reserve.  Pictured L to R: Gary Cavigielli, Daniel Noeldner, Jim Mikel, JD Hanson, Laurie Fluit (ESGR). (Courtesy photo)

For more information about ESGR outreach programs, or ESGR volunteer opportunities, please call Maj. Lona Christensen at 605-737-6540 or visit

RENEW Appoints Erb as VP of Operations

Sioux Falls, S.D. May 25, 2017 – RENEW Energy, Inc. (RENEW) is delighted to announce the appointment of Darrell Erb to its senior management team as Vice President of Operations. Erb is a well-known figure in the wind industry with over 20 years of experience. As Vice President of Operations, Erb will spearhead the strategic development, growth and execution of RENEW’s Operations Department, which encompasses their O&M book, 24/7/365 Control Center Services, Quality Control and Asset Management platforms.

“With exceptional qualifications and demonstrated success, Darrell is a great addition to our senior management team,” said Jim Mikel, RENEW President. “His extensive relationships in the industry strengthens our commitment to our customers, suppliers and shareholders and we look forward to having Darrell continue his success at RENEW.”

Erb joins RENEW with over 20 years of industry experience primarily in the North American wind market. He started his career as a field technician and has consistently progressed to positions of greater responsibility over his career in the role of an OEM service provider and as a Facility Manager for an asset owner. His experience is primarily with larger wind farms of over 100 MW’s consisting of Zond, NEG Micon, Vestas and GE technology. Erb also has a strong background in safety and regulatory compliance. During his career, he has worked for NEG Micon, Vestas, Invenergy, Iberdrola (now AvanGrid Renewables) and most recently, Pattern Energy. He holds a degree in Business - Information Systems from Fanshawe College in London, Ontario.

“I am extremely excited to be part of the RENEW Energy team and look forward to the opportunities ahead,” said Erb. “I plan to leverage my strong relationships in the industry to provide owners quality services and cost-effective solutions.”