While South Dakota currently only has 288 megawatts of wind power capacity installed, the state is experiencing the benefits of the wind industry, explains South Dakota Wind Energy Association Executive Director Steve Wegman in a interview by the National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.
We tend to picture small towns in rural America in decline, with shuttered shops, closed businesses and schools, and losses in jobs and population, while industrialized farming controls the local economy. Wegman explains, though, how small gains in the growing renewable energy industries is having a big impact on small towns in rural regions.
“What a lot of people don't realize is that we have a thousand people that go to work everyday that support the wind industry in South Dakota,” says Wegman. “We have Molded Fiberglass in Aberdeen; Broadtech is building a facility in Brandon, South Dakota to build tubes or tower sections for the wind machines; we have Kennebec Telephone Company that supplies anemometers and monitoring sites around the country. So we're seeing a lot of new jobs.”
Listen to the full audio of the interview at the Wind Powering America web site: