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All Voices: Six South Dakota tribes launch wind energy project

Six South Dakota tribes announce plans for a wind energy project:
Last week at the 2013 Clinton Global Initiative, hosted by the City of Chicago, former President Bill Clinton and leaders from six Sioux Indian tribes announced a new wind-power initiative that will harness South Dakota’s greatest natural resource and spur long-term development in the economically depressed region.

Clinton Global Initiative America is an annual event that brings together leaders from the business, foundation and government sectors in an effort to promote economic growth in the United States. The tribes’ initiative comes at a time when renewable energy investment is increasingly a national priority. Through the project, the tribes stand to infuse up to $3 billion directly into the South Dakota economy, an amount roughly equal to the impact of the entire manufacturing sector in South Dakota in a given year.

The planned project could generate 1-2 Gigawatts of power annually. Measured conservatively, that’s more than enough power to electrify the homes in Denver, Colo., for the next 20 years, the typical useful life span of the wind turbines.

The majority of the project’s funding will come through the sale of bonds by a multi-tribal power authority. The bonds are expected to be available to investors in about two years, following a critical planning and preparation stage.

Get the Story:
John Michael Spinelli: Economic future of tribal nations is blowing in the wind (All Voices 6/18)

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