Wind energy offers a reliable, affordable, pollution-free source of energy, a new high-growth business, and an opportunity to diversify a rural economy. The Upper Midwest is rich in wind resources, with five of the top ten states in the country in terms of wind energy potential.

The potential for wind development is enormous. The Upper Midwest could become a substantial provider of wind-generated electricity, a market worth billions of dollars to the regional economy. The problem is that the windiest areas in the region, especially North and South Dakota are far from the major electricity markets such as Chicago, Minneapolis, and St. Louis. There are even problems getting wind power from Southwest Minnesota to Minneapolis, and from Northwest Iowa to Des Moines.

To capitalize on wind power as a economic opportunity, we must open up the roads to market. The roads to market for this new energy crop are transmission lines. The Wind on the Wires Initiative is working to overcome hurdles such as removing bottlenecks in the transmission system, and ensuring that the rules of the road” give wind energy equal access to transmission lines. Wind on the Wires focuses on three primary areas: 1) technical issues; 2) regulatory