North Dakota Ranks as a Leading State for New Wind Development During Strong First Quarter

Staff Feature

Bismarck – North Dakota was ranked as a leading state for new wind power development over the first quarter of 2021, marking an even stronger start to clean power development when compared to last year’s record year for installations. The American Clean Power Association’s (ACP) Clean Power Quarterly Market Report released showed a 40 percent increase in wind power additions over the first three months of 2021 when compared to 2020. North Dakota was ranked fifth in the county, with 299 megawatts (MW) of wind power installed in the quarter. 

In addition to creating low-cost energy, renewable energy projects in the state are providing a number of economic benefits, including: $11.9 million in annual local and state tax revenue, $22.3 million in annual land lease payments, and 2,200 supported jobs in the state.

In total, thirteen new wind projects, 15 utility-scale solar projects, and 2 energy storage projects became operational during the first quarter of 2021, which brought enough energy online to power nearly 1 million American homes. The top five states for first quarter additions include Texas (791 MW), Oklahoma (555 MW), California (519 MW), South Dakota (462 MW), and North Dakota (299 MW). Today, North Dakota receives 29 percent of its energy produced in the state from renewable sources, a number that ranks fifth in the country. Not only is the state a leader in new development, but it is also home to programs that are training individuals in the fastest growing jobs in today’s economy.

In total, there are now over 173,000 MW of clean power capacity operating in the U.S, enough to power over 50 million homes across the country and more than double the U.S. capacity just five years ago. And more is on the way, with over 84,000 MW of clean power capacity under construction or in advanced development across the U.S, including about 35,000 MW of wind and 44,000 MW of solar. That near-term project pipeline is more than the total amount of clean power on the U.S. grid at the end of 2015.

K. William Boyer is the Managing Editor of the Devils Lake News Journal. He can be reached at kboyer@gannett.com, or by phone at (701) 662-2127.  

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