I was in West Fargo, North Dakota, where one of our members, DMI Industries, is manufacturing wind turbine towers, and providing good jobs for American workers.
DMI’s sister company, Otter Tail Power (both are Otter Tail Corp. subsidiaries), is ranked number three among U.S. utilities for the percentage of electricity it generates from wind power, with 14 percent. Michael Olson, an Otter Tail spokesman, said they hope to increase that to 18 percent in 2010, he said.
And North Dakota has more wind potential wind resources than any other state, so the future for renewable energy is limitless in the state.
But there is much more to do if we are to regain control of our energy future. While I was in West Fargo, I stressed the importance of getting more companies to invest in wind-related manufacturing in the United States. Someday I want the United States to lead the world in wind turbine manufacturing.
We are making a good start with the economic recovery package proposed by the Obama Administration and passed by Congress. Otter Tail has applied for and received recovery funding for its recently completed 49.5 MW Luverne wind farm project.
Overall, since July, our industry has seen over 1,600 MW of completed wind energy projects (enough to serve the equivalent of 480,000 average households), and over 1,700 MW of construction starts—a clear testament to the success of the recovery program in spurring U.S. wind power development.
We also need the right policies. We need Congress to pass comprehensive legislation that includes a strong Renewable Electricity Standard, which will increase demand for wind energy and encourage investment in wind manufacturing.
I saw this happening already in Fargo. We need to see it everywhere in America.
AWEA CEO Denise Bode Visits North Dakota Wind Turbine Component Manufacturing Facility
Denise Bode, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), will tour the DMI Industries wind turbine tower manufacturing facility in West Fargo, ND today and participate in a roundtable discussion with North Dakota government officials and industry executives. Bode’s visit will highlight the manufacturing jobs that wind power development creates and the need for comprehensive policy including a strong national Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) to ramp up this development and build up a strong manufacturing base. An RES requires that a growing share of the nation’s electricity be generated from renewable sources.
“North Dakota has the skilled manufacturing base for wind turbine components and the vast wind resource for wind farm development that are needed to strengthen our nation’s energy security,” said Bode. “We need to regain control of our energy future, lead the world in wind turbine manufacturing, and support the American worker by passing comprehensive legislation that includes a strong Renewable Electricity Standard.”
The West Fargo, ND turbine tower manufacturing facility is run by DMI Industries, one of several wind energy supply chain companies owned by Otter Tail Corporation. Otter Tail has applied for and received stimulus funding from the U.S. Treasury for the recently completed 49.5 MW Luverne wind farm project. The funding was critical in restoring momentum to the project.
Overall, since the early July announcement of rules to implement the stimulus bill, the wind industry has seen over 1,600 MW of completed projects (enough to serve the equivalent of 480,000 average households), and over 1,700 MW of construction starts—a clear testament to the success of the stimulus program in spurring U.S. wind power development.
AWEA is the national trade association of America’s wind industry, with more than 2,500 member companies, including global leaders in wind power and energy development, wind turbine manufacturing, component and service suppliers, and the world’s largest wind power trade show. AWEA is the voice of wind energy in the U.S., promoting renewable energy to power a cleaner, stronger America.