Letter to the editor: People of N.D. should be reaping the profits from windWind power is in the TV ads, magazine, newspaper articles and studies such as the study done by F. Larry Leistritz, North Dakota State University. He studied the economic benefits of the Langdon Wind Energy Center. The center has an economic benefit to the state of $225.7 million in a one- time construction impact and a total annual impact of $4.4 million.
By: Trana Rogne, Kindred, N.D., The Jamestown Sun
Wind power is in the TV ads, magazine, newspaper articles and studies such as the study done by F. Larry Leistritz, North Dakota State University. He studied the economic benefits of the Langdon Wind Energy Center. The center has an economic benefit to the state of $225.7 million in a one- time construction impact and a total annual impact of $4.4 million.
There are two types of ownership, external developer owned and community owned. External developer owned wind is funded largely by out-of-state investors who get the profit. The Langdon Wind Energy Center is an external developer owned project.
“Community owned wind” is the local ownership of wind farms. The wind farm is funded and owned by people of the community, with the profits going to local owners. The Luverne Wind Farm is a locally owned project (Otter Tail Power recently purchased part of the wind farm.) According to a recent study from the University of Minnesota, Morris, “community wind has four times the economic impact on local value added, and 2.8 times the impact on local job creation, relative to a corporate-owned development” (Kildegaard & Myers-Kuykindall, 2006).
Gov. John Hoeven’s EMpower ND program does not mention community owned wind, nor does community owned wind appear in the Key N.D. Energy Policy Initiatives 2001-2008 or in the 2008-2025 EMpower Comprehensive State Energy Policy.
Lloyd Anderson, a Fargo-based consultant with M-Power LLC, a locally owned wind resource development company, said “North Dakota has tax incentives for wind energy development. But those incentives do not promote local ownership of wind farms. Other states in the region, including Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska, have strong incentives to promote local ownership of wind farms.”
Hoeven seems to think external developers should profit from North Dakota’s wind resources. He represents the people of North Dakota, not the external developers.
In these challenging times for North Dakota farmers it is time for Hoeven to accept his responsibility to use strong incentives to facilitate the local economic development of one of North Dakota’s most promising resources.
Tim Mathern supports community-owned wind. He believes it is a resource for citizens of North Dakota. He feels it is past time to help North Dakotans develop our resources for our own profit, not for the profit of out-of-state investors.