Alliant plans to invest $1 billion to expand Iowa wind power

Source: By Joe Ryan, Bloomberg News • Posted: Friday, July 29, 2016

Madison-based Alliant Energy Corp., which owns utilities serving four U.S. Midwestern states, plans to spend $1 billion over the next five years to expand its wind power in Iowa by as much as 500 megawatts.

The company is seeking regulatory approval to enlarge its Whispering Willow Wind Farm in Franklin County and potentially build developments elsewhere in Iowa, Alliant said in a statement Wednesday.

The move is part of a broader initiative by Alliant to reduce its carbon emissions by 40% below 2005 levels by 2030.

Iowa is the second-largest wind-energy producing state in the United States, with more than 6,000 megawatts of capacity, according to the American Wind Energy Association.

Alliant CEO Patricia Kampling announced the project Wednesday with Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad in Cedar Rapids, headquarters of Alliant’s Iowa utility, Interstate Power & Light.

“Our customers expect low-cost, clean energy, which is exactly what this project will bring to our communities,” said Doug Kopp, president of Interstate Power & Light. “Wind has no fuel costs and zero emissions, making it a win-win for Iowans and the Iowa economy.”

The project will add enough energy to power about 215,000 Iowa homes, the utility said. In April, Warren Buffett’s Des Moines-based MidAmerican Energy Co. announced it would spend $3.6billion to build a 2,000-megawatt wind farm in Iowa.