Wind power becoming large contributer to the Northland

By KBJR News 1

January 31, 2014 Updated Jan 31, 2014 at 9:38 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- With Allete Clean Energy's purchase of three wind farms, Minnesota is quickly becoming a consumer of wind.

The wind.
Created by pressure changes on our Earth, it's the force that can make a hot day cooler or a cold day dangerous, but either way the wind blows it will always carry energy with it.

"The wind would push in this direction, the blades spin, there are electrical coils here, the magnet inside. Electricity simply comes out straight down the tube." Said Jonathan Peters, Ventera Regional Sales Manager.
Jonathan Peters of Ventera Energy in Duluth is in charge of exporting wind turbines around the United States. His company designs specialized turbines on a smaller scale for homeowners, farms, and other businesses. He says it's not only a clean energy source.

"It simply comes down to wind pays. When I was going to school for wind energy that was one of the questions my professor asked us in the first days, why do we get involved in wind? It's a free energy resource." Said Peters.
Peters says the only costs involved are initial construction expenses and minor maintenance along the way, which is likely a reason wind is being utilized on a larger scale.

"Wind is certainly a very economical, very efficient, and a premier energy resource." Said Manager of Corporate Communications, Amy Rutledge.
Minnesota Power is currently pulling power from just over 100 turbines in North Dakota to bring power to the Northland. They are working on a 64 more to meet the state mandate of 25 percent renewable energy by 2025.

"Once that's complete we'll be meeting Minnesota 25 by 2025 mandate 10 years early." Said Rutledge.
And when the new turbines are installed it will also make Minnesota Power's wind farm the largest single wind energy center in North Dakota.

Opponents of wind energy have said that large scale wind farms can disrupt bird and bat migrations.