A long journey

Today, wind accounts for 18 percent of total electricity generation in Minnesota, according to the 2019 Minnesota State Energy Factsheet.

“When I first started, the biggest wind turbine I could buy was as big as my arm span,” Dan remembers. Today, a single wind turbine blade can be as big as 200 feet long, and Dan was an integral part of engineering the technology that got wind turbines to where they are today.

“We had to design the blades to be able to accept the different air pressures of the tip speed vs the root speed (the speed at the tip of the blades versus the rotor). And once we got our arms around that, that made a huge difference in the efficiency of the machines to where they can produce the power that they make today,” Dan explains.