Clean Grid Alliance worked with several member organizations
to establish the Wind Industry of North Dakota in 2018. WIND educates stakeholders and
the public about the benefits and opportunities wind brings to North Dakota.
Membership is open to
any person, company or organization that has been positively impacted or
anticipates they could benefit from wind projects in North Dakota, including
landowners, energy companies, education and governmental leaders,
manufacturers, construction firms, supply chain companies, business leaders and
wind project developers.
Members of the coalition include American Wind Energy
Association, Apex Clean Energy, Capital Power, EDF Renewable Energy, Enel Green
Power North America Inc., Invenergy, NextEra Energy Resources, Tenaska,
Tradewind and Wanzek Construction, Inc.
Together, these companies have invested billions of dollars into the
North Dakota economy, mostly in rural areas across the state.
GA Group manages the coalition. Visit the website for fact sheets and other information.
Among the major initiatives of WIND was to tackle the Game
and Fish Department’s proposed guidelines for reducing impacts from wind energy
development. WIND filed comments along with other concerned groups on the
proposed guidelines. Game and Fish ultimately withdrew from the process agreeing that the issue
needed to be dealt with in the legislature.
the past few years, local opposition groups have been growing in number, and
strength, fueled largely by the Internet and the availability of misinformation
produced and spread by national organizations that are anti-renewables. Clean Grid Alliance recognized
that being able to successfully site and build renewable energy projects is
paramount to achieving our mission. As a
result, we were instrumental in bringing the issue of siting and opposition
groups to the attention of philanthropic funders as a serious threat. We spoke, and they listened.
began tracking opposition groups and working with members to combat the
insurgence of false information that threatens development. Clean
Grid Alliance's Minnesota outreach coordinator was extremely
effective at interacting with communities in areas where projects were being
proposed. She worked with economic
development authorities, agriculture groups, and regional chambers of commerce.
Some of the outcomes included:
Presented on behalf of CGA at the Minnesota Counties
Attended quarterly Minnesota Rural Energy Board
Spoke to CGA members about the rural character
of specific areas being considered for development and ways to effectively
engage in the community
Developing county-level interest stories that
highlight the economic benefits of hosting wind and solar projects
Cultivating personal interest stories that
highlight local job opportunities and new careers.
2018, the Center of the American Experiment (CAE), a conservative think tank in
Golden Valley, Minnesota, began a state-wide campaign against wind energy. What began with an October 2017 report
entitled, “Energy Policy in Minnesota: The High Cost of Failure” grew into a year-long battle.
CGA spoke to reporters, wrote counter-Op-Eds, deployed
radio advertising, and engaged AWEA for some fact-checking blog posts and
CGA prepared a
statement and Beth Soholt spoke to a reporter at their press conference in October
In January 2018,
CAE began a radio campaign in the Albert Lea area where the Freeborn Wind
Project was planned. CGA took to the air
waves with positive wind messages on the same local radio stations in February. We further supported our radio messaging and
response to the anti-wind ‘report’ with blog posts, social media memes, and
wind delivers many benefits” blog,
written to address several key points brought up in the CAE attack, garnered 255
unique page views over the course of the year, but had the most activity during
February and March.
help combat CAE’s efforts, CGA ran another short
radio campaign on KAUS in southern Minnesota focusing on the benefits wind
energy brings to rural communities and farmers. The ads reached 21
counties with a core audience of eight counties and a population of 135,000
Another anti-wind group also entered the scene in
Minnesota. “Clear Energy Alliance,” an organization
that claims to be a watchdog group exposing the attacks on renewable energy and
countering misinformation put out a negative wind video on Facebook entitled, “Minnesota
Blows Billions.” We posted a Fact Check blog poston our website then created a
series of social media memes addressing specific topics and shared them with developers in the area and other supportive
groups to help amplify the positive messages.
remains committed to advancing renewable energy in the Midwest and are able to
work quickly and cooperatively with our members on these important issues.
Cardinal-Hickory Creek transmission line is the last of MISO’s Multi-Value
Project lines to move through the state regulatory approval process. This is a critical line for connecting wind and
solar energy from the Dakotas and Minnesota to load centers in the East, and to facilitate renewables development in Wisconsin.
line has been met with stiff local opposition. Over 76 entities requested intervention into
the case, with nearly 50 coming from individual landowners. The Environmental
Law and Policy Center is opposing the line and is representing the Driftless Area
Land Conservancy. CGA jointly filed a
petition to intervene in the case with the Minnesota Center for Environmental
Advocacy and Fresh Energy, and secured two expert witnesses for the case.
help support the need for the line, Clean Grid Alliance developed a robust communications and outreach plan and began implementation in late summer through the end of
CGA wrote and submitted a Letter to the Editor
in support of the transmission line, which appeared in 3 Wisconsin newspapers.