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Natural Resources

North Dakota is home to abundant natural resources and can offer power to business at rates well below the national average. For information about North Dakota's natural resources or to have business development team answer specific questions regarding your project, contact us at 1-866-4Dakota or email commerce@nd.gov.


Water Irrigation

North Dakota can deliver water through its rivers, natural underground aquifers and lakes such as Sakakawea, America's largest man-made reservoir. Many of these surface and ground water supplies are undeveloped and ready for use by new and existing businesses. In addition, North Dakota is home to Garrison Dam, a hydroelectric power generation facility.

The continuing development of North Dakota's agriculture and corresponding food processing industry has had a direct effect on irrigation acres. North Dakota has grown irrigated acres from about 190,000 in 1990 to over 245,000 acres in 2002. While this is a significant increase, it only scratches the surface of our irrigation potential.

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North Dakota's greatest natural resource is its soil, with some of the richest farmland lying in the Red River Valley along the state's eastern border. While the state is diversifying its economy in several targeted industries, agriculture remains a vital part of North Dakota.
For food processors, the North Dakota Department of Commerce has the ability to use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to map agriculture commodity production. Commerce includes regional data, transportation infrastructure, utilities and water, and other data factors to provide a powerful tool for your site selection decision.

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WiltonWindfarmsunrise1101.jpgNorth Dakota has an outstanding wind resource - providing more available wind for development than any other state.
North Dakota offers the following state tax incentives for wind energy:
  • Income tax credit of three percent for five years,
  • Property tax exemption for five years,
  • Sales tax exemption through January 2011 for 100kW turbines and larger
  • Property tax reduction of three percent of the assessed value, rather than 10 percent).

DMI, the fourth largest producer of wind towers in North America, and LM Glasfiber are both located in North Dakota. LM Glasfiber is a Danish company that is the market's leading supplier of wind turbine blades and the preferred global business partner for wind turbine manufacturers and end-users.


OperatingoilwellinBowanCounty.jpgNorth Dakota is a substantial crude oil-producing State with an output typically equal to roughly 2.7 percent of total annual U.S. production. The state is also an entrance point for Canadian crude oil transported via pipeline to U.S. Midwest refining markets. A petroleum refinery in Mandan refines crude oil extracted from the Williston Basin, which covers eastern Montana and the western Dakotas, as well as a small amount of Canadian crude. The refinery produces transportation fuels primarily for the northern Great Plains States and the Twin Cities area.

Ethanol is produced at ethanol plants in North Dakota, giving the state considerable ethanol production capacity. North Dakota is a moderate consumer of ethanol in blended motor gasoline.


Natural Gas & Electricity

North Dakota typically produces roughly 1 percent of the nation's annual natural gas production. The majority of the state's supply is transported via major pipelines originating in Montana and western Canada on their way to U.S. Midwest consumption markets. North Dakota has the distinction of being one of only two States that produce synthetic natural gas. The single largest source of synthetic gas in the United States is the Great Plains Synfuels Plant in Beulah, North Dakota, which annually produces more than 54 billion cubic feet of gas from coal

Electricity generation and demand are both low in North Dakota, commensurate with the state's population. Coal-fired plants provide nearly all of North Dakota's electricity generation. Most of the coal used for power generation is supplied by several large surface mines in the central part of the state. State coal production is substantial, and North Dakota brings in only small amounts of coal from other states. Hydroelectric dams account for most of the state's non-coal-generated electricity.
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