Governor Announces New Wind Energy Expansion in Iowa

Source: BY REID CHANDLER, WHO • Posted: Monday, October 13, 2014

DES MOINES, Iowa – Driving across the state of Iowa, there’s always been on sight you could count on seeing an abundance of: cornfields. But over the years, wind turbines have slowly become part of that trademark Iowa landscape, too,  and Friday, Governor Terry Branstad announced we’ll be seeing a lot more of them.

$280 million’s worth of them, to be exact. MidAmerican Energy is set to develop one new wind farm site in Adams County and expand a second site in O’Brien County in 2015. This comes after a $1.9 billion project announced in 2013.

MidAmerican-Energy-Wind-Map“Iowa has attracted major tech companies, such as Google, Microsoft and Facebook, because of our low energy prices and commitment to renewable energy,” Gov. Branstad said. “MidAmerican Energy’s newest wind project will help the state meet the demand for renewable energy that is attracting major companies and high-quality jobs to Iowa.”

If approved, the company’s proposed project would bring up to 67 new wind turbines to the state, the blades of which would be manufactured at a Siemens facility in Fort Madison. At completion, the project would add up to 162 megawatts of wind generation to the state, bringing the total to 3,500 megawatts.

“That can power about a million homes,” said Bill Ferhman, president and CEO of MidAmerican Energy.

MidAmerican Energy is currently working with county officials and landowners to secure development rights for these proposed sites. In addition to these new proposals, current wind projects by the company are underway in Grundy, Madison, O’Brien and Webster counties.