Minnesota and four other states have partnered to seek a regional electric transmission system to help develop future wind power development.
The Upper Midwest Transmission Development Initiative partners also include South Dakota, Iowa, Wisconsin and North Dakota.
This is a positive step for the wind power sector in western Minnesota.
A major roadblock on future wind-generated power is the lack of adequate transmission capacity in west central Minnesota and around the Midwest. If fact, some wind turbines along Minnesota's Buffalo Ridge have been turned off in the past due to the lack of transmission capacity out of southwest Minnesota.
Transmission capacity remains the glass ceiling for the new fledgling wind power industry.
It is important for all involved -- government, producers and consumers -- for the critical power infrastructure to be have adequate capacity throughout the region.
We hope this new initiative will help all involved to proactively address the major barrier to the development of renewable wind energy across the Midwest.