This guest post was submitted by Peder Mewis at Clean Grid Alliance on behalf of the Wind Industry of North Dakota (WIND)
Rob Port’s recent column “The real consequences of wind power are looming” paints an inaccurate doom and gloom portrait of an industry that has had an undeniably positive impact on North Dakota.
Our state is blessed with a tremendous wind resource that has drawn more than $6 billion in investment to North Dakota. These investments create an estimated $9.5 million in local tax dollars annually, and provide millions more in income to North Dakota landowners who choose to host wind turbines and other equipment on their land. They also help local communities fund schools and other essential services. All of this while generating affordable, clean and reliable energy for the benefit of our state.
Wind energy currently provides more than a quarter of North Dakota’s energy, with the potential for more. When you consider that wind energy is the cheapest form of new power generation available, and that it’s helped reduce energy costs for North Dakotans, it also presents a significant opportunity for even more future investments in our state – for years to come.
In his column, Mr. Port conjures up California’s past to misleadingly imagine local grid “brownouts.” The fact of the matter is our power grid has never been more reliable. The nation’s grid regulator, the North America Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), issued a long-term reliability assessment that shows all regions greatly exceed their targeted level of power plant capacity through at least 2021. Furthermore, the additional transmission infrastructure that new wind projects provide will enhance the state’s grid reliability – not harm it.
It is smart for North Dakota to have a diversity of energy generation to provide for our current and future needs and to promote greater grid security. Wind power can and should be a growing part of that mix, to the benefit of everyone in our state.