Clean Energy News

Cost of wind projects continues steady decline 

The U.S. wind industry is booming—expanding from 1.5 gigawatts of cumulative installed capacity in 1998 to 96.4 gigawatts of installed capacity in 2018.

At the same time, the cost of these projects continues to go down. According to the newly-released 2018 Wind Market Technologies Report from the U.S. Department of Energy, the average cost of constructing a wind energy project in 1983 was $4,478 per kilowatt hour. In 2018, the cost dropped to just $1,468 per kilowatt hour.

Fact sheets address common questions about wind energy

Wind energy developed across the U.S. has brought significant opportunity to rural communities, with new projects generating clean energy, in addition to economic benefits for nearby towns and rural areas.

These benefits include offering an additional source of income for farm and ranch families through land-lease payments, creating new short-term jobs during the construction of a project, as well as long-term operations jobs, and adding another source of tax revenue for rural counties that allows them to fund local schools, emergency services, and even road repairs.

Center staff member recognized for work in clean energy

Each year, Midwest Energy News acknowledges leaders who are based in the Midwest. These men and women are innovators from all sectors, including industry, government, regulatory, business, academia, nonprofit, and advocacy.

The 40 Under 40 awards program showcases emerging leaders throughout the region, and highlights their work in America’s transition to a clean energy economy.

This year, the Center for Rural Affairs was represented by one of its own. Policy Associate Lu Nelsen was named one of the recipients of the 2019 Midwest Energy News 40 Under 40 Award.

Transmission lines provide a pathway for renewable energy

The Midwest has experienced a renewable energy boom. Renewables have provided the region with clean, low-cost energy and created new economic development opportunities for communities. The expansion of renewable energy has presented a challenge—the electric grid was not designed to connect wind and solar generation to customers. Taking full advantage of the region’s clean energy resources requires a concerted effort to improve existing electric transmission infrastructure.

Wind turbine technology program blows in opportunity for students and small towns

The U.S. is home to one of the largest and fastest-growing wind markets in the world, and many states are taking advantage of that by developing wind farms to generate clean, renewable energy.

Programs all over the country exist to train technicians to work on those wind farms. One such program exists in Mitchell, South Dakota, at Mitchell Technical Institute. There, technicians are trained to install, inspect, maintain, operate, and repair wind turbines. They are able to diagnose and fix any problem that could cause the turbine to shut down unexpectedly.

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