Wind in the Midwest Region

Midwest states in general have significant wind resources, and many projects have been deployed in this region. According to AWEA, the Midwestern states with the largest wind power capacity installations at the end of September 2014 include Iowa (5,177 MW), Illinois (3,568 MW), Oklahoma (3,134 MW), Minnesota (3,035 MW), Kansas (2,967 MW), North Dakota (1,681 MW), and Indiana (1,544 MW).

Barriers to wind development in the region include transmission and limited state and regional markets. Wind-related manufacturing could result in economic benefits for the region.

More Information

American Council on Renewable Energy. (2013). Renewable Energy in the 50 States: Midwestern Region.

More than one-third of U.S. wind capacity is located in the Midwest. Five Midwestern states generate more than 10% of their electricity from wind energy, out of only nine states nationally. In 2012, the Midwest witnessed a 29% increase in installed generation capacity, adding more than 21 GW of new wind power to the grid. This report explores the current state of wind energy, as well as other renewables, in the Midwest.

Laitner, J; McDonnell, M. (2013). Securing Nebraska’s Energy and Economic Future.

According to this report, productive investments in both wind energy systems and more energy-efficient technologies can provide more than half of Nebraska’s electricity needs by 2030. It is both technically and economically feasible. Such investments can lead to nearly 14,000 new jobs for Nebraska’s economy while saving businesses and consumers a cumulative $3.8 billion in lower electric bills over the period 2014 through 2030.

Midwest Energy News. (March 2013). Wind Energy Lessons from Illinois

National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Economic Development Benefits from Wind Power in Nebraska: A Report for the Nebraska Energy Office (PDF 623 KB) focuses on the economic development impacts that would result in Nebraska from development and operation of wind power in the state as envisioned in the U.S. Department of Energy’s report20% Wind Energy by 2030 (PDF 9 MB). This fact sheet (PDF 747 KB) summarizes the report.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory. (2014). Economic Impacts from Indiana’s First 1,000 Megawatts of Wind Power reports on an analysis conducted using the Jobs and Economic Development Impact (JEDI) model, a tool used to estimate some of the economic impacts of energy projects at the state level.

Nebraska Wind Power. Dan McGuire, wind energy advocate and consultant for the American Corn Growers Foundation and Nebraska state facilitator for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind for Schools project, discusses wind power in his state on this YouTube video.

North American Windpower. (2012). Learning from Kansas: Why Utilities Are Embracing Wind Energy describes how in Kansas, wind energy generation is at least equivalent in cost – and often cheaper – than traditional sources of energy, according to academic studies that analyzed the costs of various types of generation in the state. Wind energy also provides price certainty: When utilities add renewable energy generation to their portfolios, they can lock in power supply at a known price for up to 20 years.

Polsinelli Shughart; Kansas Energy Information Network. (November 19, 2012). The Economic Benefits of Kansas Wind Energy (PDF)

This report provides empirical, factual data based upon reports and actual experiences of Kansas citizens, utilities, and project developers. The report then seeks to compare that empirical data against non-partisan academic studies of the potential economic impacts of wind generation for state and local economies.

The Solutions Project. 50 States, 50 Plans: 100% Renewable Energy Benefits

Superior Watershed Partnership and Land Trust. Community Wind Power: A Guide for Upper Peninsula Communities (PDF 1.3 MB) is designed to help community wind proponents explore the idea of developing a wind energy project that provides the benefits of renewable wind energy to their community.

Wind Energy Foundation. (2012). Video: Iowa Farmer Says Yes to Wind Energy on His Land

Wind Energy Foundation. (2012). Video: Nebraska Town Experiences Wind Energy Boom

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