North Dakota Wind Facts

North Dakota has the greatest wind resource of any of the lower 48 states yet it is only beginning to embrace its wind potential. In the spring of 2007, only 178 MW of wind energy was installed, but installed capacity has been increased to 345 MW as of January 2008.

With all of its wind power a class 3 or higher, North Dakota could supply 1.2 trillion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of annual electricity, which is 14,000 times the electricity consumption in the state. Why hasn’t North Dakota fully utilized its 138,400 MW of wind potential and 100,700 square kilometers of wind land? The biggest concerns are constraints on its existing transmission grid, which needs significant expansions, as well as competing with neighboring states’ tax laws.

However, North Dakota lawmakers are paying close attention to these issues, and understand the positive impact wind energy developments have on the environment and economy. North Dakota Governor, John Hoeven signed into law legislation promoting new and substantial investments in transmission lines across the state. To further increase North Dakota’s growth in the wind energy industry, several financial incentives are in place, including tax credits, property tax reductions, and local property tax exemptions. These and new benefits should encourage development for years to come.

North Dakota wind facts as of January 2008:
• Total installed wind energy capacity (MW): 345
• Current wind energy capacity under construction (MW): 130
• Total wind energy potential (billions of kWh/year): 1,210
• Average potential power output (MW): 138,400
• Ranks 1st in US for potential wind energy output.
• Ranks 13th in US for current wind energy output.

Renewable Energy Objective:
In 2007, North Dakota enacted legislation that establishing an objective that 10% of all retail electricity sold in the state be obtained from renewable energy and recycled energy by 2015.

Financial Incentives

Tax Credit:
Taxpayers purchasing and installing wind energy equipment can claim a 3% income tax credit for up to five years.
• All equipment must be installed after December 31, 2000.
• If the device is part of another renewable energy system, only the wind energy portion is eligible.
• Credits can be carried over for the next five years if the amount exceeds a taxpayer’s liability.
• All or part of the credit can be sold or passed on to the purchaser of the electricity generated by the system, in consideration of a power purchase agreement or for construction of a transmission line after August of 2007.

Property Tax Reduction:
Property taxes are reduced by 70% for 100kW wind facilities or larger. These systems are also exempt from sales tax. Projects must begin construction by January 1, 2011 to be eligible.

Property Tax Exemption: All wind energy systems are eligible for property tax exemption. Only the renewable energy portions of a device qualify. This exemption is applied for five years following installation.