Recent Press Releases

Thune to Meet with WAPA Chief

Senator Will Advocate Steps to Promote South Dakota Wind Industry

June 26, 2007

Washington, D.C. —  Today, U.S. Senator John Thune will meet with Tim Meeks, the new chief administrator of the Western Area Power Administration (WAPA). A large proportion of the electricity grid infrastructure in South Dakota is controlled and maintained by WAPA. Senator Thune's agenda includes: (1) receiving a progress report on his request for a WAPA analysis of the feasibility of integrating wind and hydro electricity production on the Missouri River; (2) impressing upon WAPA the importance of expanded electricity grid capacity, which will foster the development of wind energy in South Dakota; and (3) urging WAPA, which plays an important role in environmental reviews of potential wind farms in South Dakota, to give a higher priority to wind energy development than it does to the safety of bats and birds, which some environmental groups have advocated.

Senator Thune commented, "During my meeting with Administrator Meeks, I want to make clear to him the great potential for the development of South Dakota wind energy, which the National Renewable Energy Laboratory has noted as being the strongest in the country. WAPA will play an important role in developing this clean form of energy, which South Dakota enjoys in abundance."