This paper presents the case of Rio Grande do Sul (RS), in Brazil, a state which implemented a regional industrial policy (IP/RS) in the wind energy sector, motivated by the comparative advantages of the state and by a national program to stimulate the development of this source of energy in Brazil. Exploring different theoretical views on the role of government and industrial policies in the economy, we investigated the bases, models and strategies used to design the IP/RS and the benefits gained from its implementation. The case study followed the inductivist paradigm using qualitative analysis of information from documentary and bibliographical research, as well as from data obtained through active participant observation. The IP/RS promoted the introduction of public goods and horizontal market interventions for the wind sector. The IP/RS was able to increase the competitiveness of the RS in relation to the other Brazilian states with high wind potential, demonstrated by the superior growth of RS in auctioned contracts and by the significant increase in wind power capacity in RS compared to the performance of other states.