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Mitchell group working with state on wind power

PIERRE - Dakota Heartland Development Association of the Mitchell area is one of five community groups in South Dakota working with state government to expand wind energy development in the state.

PIERRE - Dakota Heartland Development Association of the Mitchell area is one of five community groups in South Dakota working with state government to expand wind energy development in the state.

Members of these groups will attend the American Wind Energy Association's WINDPOWER Expo in Anaheim, Calif., May 22-25.

"It's no secret that South Dakota's wind-energy potential is incredible," said Gov. Dennis Daugaard. "By continuing to work with our community partners in economic development, we can present a unified front to successfully highlight one of South Dakota's greatest natural assets."

Renewable energy is an industry focus for South Dakota economic development efforts because of the state's huge wind energy production capacity. According to the American Wind Energy Association, South Dakota has greater wind potential than 92 percent of the nation.

This is the second year that the Governor's Office of Economic Development has enlisted a cooperative effort for the WINDPOWER Expo. Through the co-op program, communities and the state pool their talents and resources to more efficiently and effectively encourage business growth in South Dakota.

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The 2011 community partners are Aberdeen Development Corporation, Lake Area Improvement Corporation in Madison, Dakota Heartland Development Association of the Mitchell area, Rural Learning Center of Howard, and Focus Watertown.

In the last four years, South Dakota's wind power capacity has grown from 44 megawatts of production capacity to 785 megawatts of production capacity. To put that in perspective, 785 megawatts is enough capacity to serve more than 270,000 homes.

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