Mathern Releases Wind Energy Plan
FARGODem-NPL Gubernatorial Candidate Tim Mathern released a plan Wednesday to make North Dakota the national leader in wind energy development.
"This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for our state," he said. "All we're lacking is the right leadership."
Mathern said the state needs to concentrate its renewable energy development efforts on wind because that's where our greatest opportunity lies.
North Dakota is rated number one in the U.S. in potential wind resources, and has even been dubbed by some as "the Saudi Arabia of wind." The U.S. Department of Energy says North Dakota could supply 25 percent of the nation's electricity needs with just its wind power potential.
"My wind energy plan will guarantee us a bright future as the leader of the coming renewable energy revolution," Mathern said. "But most important is wind's ability to bring our rural communities back to life by creating jobs and a strong tax base."
Mathern's plan consists of four pillars:
--Start an Office of Renewable Power
The ORP will bring together all of the state's existing renewable power efforts under one umbrella. It will also significantly expand the mission. This means partnering with the private sector to develop wind generation, wind technology and transmission.
--Solve North Dakota's transmission grid capacity problems
The state's transmission lacks the capacity to export the energy produced by any meaningful expansion of our wind resources. Unfortunately, our current governor has been absent at some of the multi-state meetings to try to work out a solution to this problem. This will change with a Mathern administration.
--Partner with farmers and cooperatives to build wind farms
The Mathern administration will work with North Dakotans to promote and encourage local investment in wind farms. The goal is to keep the profits within the state's borders and see to it that many North Dakotans benefit.
--Welcome national efforts and make sure North Dakota isn't left behind.
There are many national leaders who share this vision for our state. One is T. Boone Pickens, who is visiting the state tomorrow. The Mathern administration will make sure we're at the table to participate in all such efforts.