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Minneapolis-based National Wind, a developer of large-scale community-owned wind projects, has announced that it has received a significant private-equity investment from Harmony Equity Income Fund, a South Dakota fund managed by McGowan Capital Group.

"We chose to invest in National Wind because it is a high-growth company with a unique business model that can capitalize on South Dakota's wind potential," says Gene McGowan, president of Harmony Equity Income Fund and McGowan Capital Group. Investors get an equity interest in National Wind.

According to National Wind, the funds will be used to expand National Wind's community wind development efforts in South Dakota. Specifically, the company expects to add development staff, wind assessment engineers and field representatives. Approximately 1,000 MW of new projects will commence development in South Dakota within the next six months, according to National Wind.

"This investment allows us to devote a significant amount of our resources to promote community-owned wind projects in South Dakota," says Leon Steinberg, CEO of National Wind. "We expect to launch several sizable South Dakota wind projects in the near future. Our projects allow the community to retain most of the economic benefit, with a higher probability of overall success than traditional developer-owned projects."

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., recognizes South Dakota's opportunities to develop wind power and is also introducing legislation that would facilitate the transference of wind energy generated in South Dakota to high-demand regions in urban areas.

"At a time when America is dangerously reliant on foreign sources of energy, the promise of clean, renewable wind energy is something I will continue to promote," says Thune. "States like South Dakota have the wind resources to meet a considerable share of our nation's electrical demand, but until now, have lacked the necessary infrastructure."

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