Record year for wind turbine shipments good for Minnesota economy, environment

The BBC Amazon
The BBC Amazon, flagged in Antigua and Barbuda, hauls a load of wind turbine blades. The wind blades are manufactured by LM Glasfiber, in Grand Forks, N.D. The Danish company is the world's largest wind generator manufacturer.
Bob Kelleher | MPR News 2009

A record 525,000 freight tons of wind energy cargo passed through the port of Duluth in 2020, blowing away the previous record of 306,000 freight tons in 2019, according to the Duluth Seaway Port Authority.

It’s a sign of how quickly wind projects are taking hold in the Midwest, and the economic prosperity they could bring.

“A decade ago, wind energy was just starting to get off the ground. If you look now, the state of Iowa, 40 percent of all their generation comes from wind. Minnesota is at about 19 percent. South Dakota is at 24 percent. And North Dakota generates about 27 percent,” said Peder Mewis, a regional policy manager with the Clean Grid Alliance, a nonprofit that advocates for clean energy and includes renewable energy companies as members. “So we’ve seen very robust growth and we expect that to continue.”

Mewis joined Climate Cast to talk about the record year. Click play on the audio player above to hear it, or subscribe to the Climate Cast podcast.

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