San Diego company explores wind farm in rural Plymouth County Iowa

Source: By KIRBY KAUFMAN, Sioux City Journal • Posted: Sunday, March 20, 2016

LE MARS, Iowa | A San Diego-based alternative energy company is looking to enter Iowa’s wind farm industry in rural Plymouth County.

EDF Renewable Energy proposes to build an estimated $200 million wind farm between Kingsley and Le Mars, said County Zoning Administrator Alan Lucken.

Company officials will meet with rural landowners this week to discuss the construction of roughly 100 windmills, which could include easements.

The company did not return multiple phone calls seeking comment Monday.

Lucken said the project is currently in the initial planning stage. Plymouth County officials have not entered into any agreements.

The proposed wind farm is smaller than O’Brien County’s Highland Wind Farm, which opened in Primghar, Iowa, in December 2015.

In recent years, private companies have pushed wind farms in rural Iowa. For those counties, that means an increased property tax base.

O’Brien Wind Farm, which will have 104 turbines, and Ida Grove Wind Farm in Ida County, which will have 134 turbines, are expected to be finished by the end of 2016.

Des Moines-based MidAmerican Energy spent $900 million on the wind farms in O’Brien and Ida counties. Those county officials said the company will pay $42.5 million in property taxes in the first 10 years after the project is done.