Rosebud, SD — Global Warming Fix? The Answer is Blowing in the Wind.
The Rosebud Sioux Reservation lies in the heart of the windswept prairie. Literally. On a typical day, 18 mph winds buffet the reservation's prairie grasses in the summer and deliver teeth shattering wind chills in winter. Some scientists estimate that the Rosebud Reservation's winds could generate up to one twelfth the today's electricity needs for the entire United States!
The Dakotas have fallen on hard economic times, and wind energy may be the 21st century solution for prosperity on the prairie.
Electricity from the tribe's first wind turbine brings in $15,000 a year to tribal coffers. When the tribe launches 18 more turbines in January, revenue is projected to hit $600,000!
As more transmission lines are built to stretch power across the nation, the winds of South Dakota could be lighting up homes as far away as California.
Wind Energy is the nation's fastest growing alternative energy resource. Enough turbines came on line last year to power the entire city of Detroit. While a 2 billion dollar a year industry, wind energy accounts for less than 1% of America's total electricity needs. Forward-thinkers, like those on the Rosebud Reservation, will make sure that we harness the full energy - and economic - power of the wind.
Photo: Bob Gough, Intertribal COUP