North Dakota plans more wind energy

In parallel with the White House, North Dakota said it was planning to connect a 43-turbine wind farm to the grid as part of an “all of the above” strategy. North Dakota Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley was on hand for a ceremony to celebrate the upcoming completion of the Thunder Spirit wind farm, a 43-turbine wind farm with a maximum capacity of 107 megawatts of power.


“The completion of the Thunder Spirit wind farm marks another important milestone in North Dakota’s ‘all of the above’ energy production journey,” Wrigley said in a statement.

Using data provided by the American Wind Energy Association, the state government said it’s the national leader in wind energy, with wind power accounting for more than 17 percent of the electricity generated in the state last year.

The state offers property tax relief to encourage the development of wind power.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration found North Dakota has “abundant” wind energy resources available, ranking sixth in the nation in terms of wind energy potential. More than 75 percent of its net electricity is generated from coal.

Sparsely-populated North Dakota ranks near the bottom in terms of total energy consumption on the United States, though per capita consumption is among the highest because of an energy-intensive industrial sector.

Apart from renewables, North Dakota is the No. 2 oil producer in the nation and at times has been at odds with President Barack Obama’s so-called “all of the above” energy policy, which emphasizes a diverse mix of renewable and oil and gas resources.

North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple said the state needs more oil pipelines to keep up with production. Some state leaders have backed the Keystone XL oil pipeline, which supporters said is delayed by the Obama administration. Oil regulators, meanwhile, blame the federal government for embracing legislation that inhibits production.

Dalrymple, however, has touted diversity as among the main reasons his state is among the national leaders in terms of economic growth.