Minnesota Trying to Lure Danish Wind Company

John Davis

vestas.jpgMinnesota might already be the home of the NFL’s Vikings, but lawmakers in that state are trying to lure some modern-day descendants of the marauders to set up a wind energy research center.

This story from Forbes says they’re coming up with money to lure a major wind turbine producer to the state:

kelliher.GIFHouse Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher and several other Democrats said they’re considering a package of unspecified incentives – possibly bonding dollars, or tax breaks – to draw Denmark’s Vestas Wind Systems to the state. Vestas, the world’s largest maker of wind turbines, plans to build a U.S. research center, but hasn’t picked a location.

Minnesota is already the third-largest producer of wind energy in the nation, behind Texas and California. Kelliher and her colleagues, DFL Reps. Aaron Peterson and Jeremy Kalin, said the Vestas research center would create 80 high-paying engineering jobs and put Minnesota on the leading edge of green power.

“A big part of our economic future can be these green-collar jobs,” Kelliher said.

Bringing Vestas to the state is “a great idea,” (Gov. Tim) Pawlenty said, adding that his administration is holding talks with the company. He said he would support state help if the turbine maker would commit to Minnesota for its research center.

Last year, Minnesota put in one of the most aggressive renewable energy standards in the country, as lawmakers decided to require 25 percent of Minnesota’s electricity to come from wind and other clean sources by 2025.