Chevy Helps Provide Power to the Plains States

Nov 18, 2011 9:30 AM ET

Envision the Great Plains and you often find yourself thinking of wind-whipped faces and blustery days. This is part of the reason why Chevrolet is helping support a unique turbine wind farm in South Central South Dakota.

Because the northern plains states provide the best wind resource in the United States, a group of investors got together to see if they could turn the resource into energy. With a first-of-its-kind partnership with a regional utility company, together they created a large-scale wind project with community investment.

Out of the 108 turbines, seven are owned by the community, generating local power and creating financial returns that benefit approximately 600 rural farmers and residents. One is even owned by Mitchell Technical Institute, which uses it for vocational training for students. Teaching electronics and hydraulics is more effective when students see how it’s applied to a turbine. This hands-on experience and training goes a long way in helping qualify them to find work within this industry.

The wind farm generates up to 162 megawatts of power, enough to serve 50,000 homes at average capacity and 129,000 at its peak potential. The project also has generated a new crop of jobs, with local crews installing and maintaining the turbines.

Crow Lake Wind is one of 16 new projects Chevrolet recently announced it is supporting to prevent up to 8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the air during the next five years.  The total carbon-reduction goal for all these projects is estimated to equal the 2011 emissions created from driving the 1.9 million vehicles Chevrolet expects to sell in the United States between Nov. 18, 2010 and Dec. 31, 2011.

Actual carbon reductions from Crow Lake Wind and other Chevrolet projects will take place over the next five years. They must be reviewed, validated and verified before the investments are realized. 

Learn more about Chevy’s carbon-reduction initiative and contribute yourself by planting a virtual tree on your Facebook wall. For each tree planted, Chevrolet, in partnership with the National Forest Foundation, will plant a real tree in a U.S. forest next year, up to 175,000 total trees.

Click here to view a video on the Crow Lake Wind Farm.