27 Dec 2017
As most people in rural South Dakota can tell you, the wind is almost always blowing. Living on the prairie, windy days are inevitable. It just comes with the territory – which is why it only makes sense for us to develop this fast resource and put it to good use.
Over the past decade, South Dakota has been doing just that. Wind power has contributed more than $2 billion in capital investment to our state for the construction and maintenance of the 14 wind projects now in operation. These projects, along with the South Dakota businesses that supply goods and services to the wind industry, support nearly 2,000 good-paying jobs in our state. Better yet, there are numerous wind power projects being planned across our state, and, if built, these wind farms will attract billions of dollars of new private investment, millions of dollars of new revenue for farmers and rural communities, and thousands of new jobs.
Today, I am proud to say that South Dakota is one of only two states where wind power provides over 30% of in-state power generation. That’s power that the whole region can count on. In fact, the regional operator of our energy system has noted they can reliably meet over 50% of the current demand for our 13-state region with wind power alone, and that’s not even the limit.