PIERRE, S.D. – The Governor’s Office of Economic Development is partnering with one community and two companies to expand wind energy development in South Dakota by attending the American Wind Energy Association’s 2012 WINDPOWER Expo in Atlanta, Georgia, June 3-6.
“South Dakota has immense wind energy potential, and it is important to use opportunities like the WINDPOWER Expo to ensure that the state continues to fully take advantage of such an important natural asset.”
South Dakota has recognized renewable energy as a key industry focus for economic development due to the state’s huge wind energy production capacity. Recent rankings indicate that South Dakota uses a higher percentage of wind than any other state in the union, while ranking fifth when it comes to wind energy potential.
This is the third year that the Governor’s Office of Economic Development has sponsored its Trade Show Cooperative Marketing program at the WINDPOWER Expo. Using combined talents and resources more efficiently and effectively encourages business growth in South Dakota. South Dakota currently has more than 45 companies that participate to some degree in the wind energy supply chain.
Partners in the 2012 program in Atlanta include the South Dakota Wind Energy Association, Campbell County Wind Farm/Dakota Plains Energy, and the Aberdeen Development Corporation.
“Aberdeen and Northeast South Dakota has significant wind energy investments, both in wind farms and in Molded Fiber Glass Co., a major manufacturer of wind turbine blades. The WINDPOWER Expo is an excellent opportunity to promote the business and natural advantages that South Dakota is uniquely qualified to provide for this emerging industry,” said Jim Barringer, Executive Director of the Aberdeen Development Corporation.
In the last five years, South Dakota’s wind power capacity has grown from just 44 megawatts of production capacity to 785 megawatts of production capacity. To put that in perspective, 785 megawatts is enough electricity to serve more than 270,000 homes.