Editorial: Our View: Wind energy plan a win for Iowa

Source: By Editorial Board, Council Bluffs Daily Nonpariel • Posted: Tuesday, April 19, 2016

What’s being called the largest economic development investment in Iowa’s history is garnering glowing reviews from advocates for sustainability and renewable energy.

Announced earlier this week, MidAmerican Energy’s $3.6 billion plan to increase its wind turbine output to cover more than 40 percent of the state’s energy from wind – enough to power 800,000 homes – will make Iowa the nationwide leader in wind energy. When fully realized, the company said 85 percent of its customer sales will be of clean wind energy.

Few, if any, bad words are being said about the project. And, at first glance, we can’t find any glaring faults with it, either.

This is a company investing in its home state without requesting financial assistance from the state or increased rates from consumers, creating more than 1,000 construction jobs and nearly 100 more full-time positions. The only aid sought by MidAmerican – a division of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., which owns The Daily Nonpareil – is federal tax credits for wind energy.

Iowa has been an early adopter in renewable energy, with its very visible results coming at the gas pump in ethanol and biofuels and the wind turbines that tower over many of our state’s highways. The Hawkeye State has a strong solar energy presence, too, often dwarfed by other energy sources.

The end results of this investment are more jobs, economic development and a drastically reduced dependence on fossil fuels. Across the board, this is a win for Iowans.