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Clean energy jobs see growth in North Dakota, Minnesota

GRAND FORKS - North Dakota and Minnesota are adding more clean energy jobs, according to a report released earlier this week.Minnesota added almost 2,900 clean energy jobs from 2015 to 2016, bringing its total to 57,351, according to a news relea...

Wilton Wind Farm is utilized by Basin Electric Power Cooperative as a source of renewable power in North Dakota. NextEra Energy proposes to build an 87-turbine wind project in Stark County, which would provide more electricity to the cooperative. (AMY TABORSKY, Bismarck Tribune)
Wilton Wind Farm is utilized by Basin Electric Power Cooperative as a source of renewable power in North Dakota. NextEra Energy proposes to build an 87-turbine wind project in Stark County, which would provide more electricity to the cooperative. (AMY TABORSKY, Bismarck Tribune)
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GRAND FORKS - North Dakota and Minnesota are adding more clean energy jobs, according to a report released earlier this week.

Minnesota added almost 2,900 clean energy jobs from 2015 to 2016, bringing its total to 57,351, according to a news release from Gov. Mark Dayton's office. The 5.3 percent growth meant clean energy jobs grew 3.8 times faster than overall jobs in the state, or about 2 percent of the state's workforce, according to the Clean Energy Trust and Environmental Entrepreneurs, the group behind the annual study.

"This report is further proof that renewable energy is good for our health, our environment and our economy. Minnesota's clean energy industry continues to outpace growth in the rest of our economy - creating thousands of good new jobs all across the state," Lt. Governor Tina Smith said in the release.

Most of Minnesota's clean energy jobs are located in or near the Twin Cities, with Congressional District 3 to the south of Minneapolis hosting 12,600 jobs. There are 29,600 total in districts 3, 4 and 5 - those are the districts that surround the city.

Congressional District 7, which covers most of western Minnesota, has 6,100 jobs.

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In North Dakota, clean energy jobs grew by 3.2 percent, or 384 jobs, from 2015 to 2016, bringing the total to 12,266, according to the study. That makes up about 3 percent of the state's workforce, according to the study.

Overall, jobs declined 4 percent in the timeframe.

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