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New Wind Energy Co. in Duluth

Posted at: 11/28/2012 6:29 PM
Updated at: 11/28/2012 10:42 PM
By: Renee Passal

Ventera Wind has been operating shop in West Duluth for over a year now. They build smaller, 10 kilowatt wind turbines that are used by business owners, homeowners, and farmers.

"Wind is a choice, for either business, or for the earth," said president Joe Woods.

Their turbines are sent all over the world. They are lighter than their competitors, according to Woods, and therefore more earth-friendly. 90% of the components are made in the USA.

Ventera Wind was part of a press conference in Duluth on Wednesday, focused on wind energy.

Environment Minnesota released a report detailing what they say is important about wind energy.

"Wind energy now supplies 13% of Minnesota's electricity, making Minnesota the fourth largest wind producer in the country," said Michelle Hesterberg, of Environment Minnesota.

Mayor Don Ness said that Minnesota Power's grid includes wind energy that is used in Duluth. He praised the company for their work on this renewable energy. "They are ahead schedule to meet the renewable energy standard, and a large part of that is because of wind."

Minnesota Power owns and operates the Taconite Ridge windfarm at Minntac in Mt. Iron.

There is concern that an expiring federal tax credit could hurt big wind projects like that one. But the American Wind Energy Association has been lobbying Congress for over a year now, to extend the tax credit. The association said Wednesday they are optimistic the extension will happen, and could be included in the fiscal cliff negotiations.

This will be good news for the shipping industry as well. The Duluth Seaway Port Authority said that over 100,000 freight tons of wind parts have come through this season.  The boost has been because of the looming expiration of the tax credit.

Wind turbines like Ventera's, which are smaller, benefit from a different set of tax credits.