Twin Cities Well-Positioned
to Harness Wind Power
“Wind advocates say that just two of the windiest states, North Dakota and South Dakota, could in principle generate half the nation’s electricity from turbines. But the way the national grid is configured, half the country would have to move to the Dakotas in order to use the power.”
–“Wind Energy Bumps Into Power Grid’s Limits” (The New York Times; 8/26/08)
It certainly makes sense that it might cost tens of billions to build power lines from the Dakotas to population centers on either coast.
However, last time I checked, the state that shared the longest border with North and South Dakota was . . . Minnesota. Granted, the Twin Cities is located on the opposite side of the state, but we’re still talking hundreds of miles, not thousands.
Through the early nineteenth century, cities formed near cheap transportation — think natural harbors (New York, San Francisco, Seattle) and rivers (St. Louis, Minneapolis, New Orleans), etc. Fifty years ago, cities sprang up — and grew fastest — where the human intellectual capital was greatest (think, Silicon Valley and Boston). Now, what may very well separate urban winners and losers is . . . access to cheap energy.
On that score, the Twin Cities would seem to be looking (surprisingly) good, cold climate notwithstanding.