"South Dakota has the ability to be on the leading edge of wind energy production in this country," said Thune. "If we can harness South Dakota's wind energy potential, we can be an example to the rest of the world about the future of renewable energy."
During the meeting, Senator Thune encouraged the companies in attendance, representing billions of dollars of renewable energy capital, to develop wind generation projects in the Upper Great Plains. Senator Thune underscored the untapped wind resources in South Dakota and invited the companies to consider South Dakota as a location for future manufacturing facilities. Later this week, the Spanish delegation will be traveling to Colorado to meet with officials at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Lab and other economic development groups.
The following officials of the Spanish government joined Senator Thune as well as Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM), Senator Ken Salazar (D-CO), and Senator Mel Martinez (R-FL) in the meeting:
Several of the world's largest wind development and equipment manufacturers were also present at the meeting including three companies that have already invested in South Dakota wind farms.