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MidAmerican Energy plans $900m wind capacity expansion in Iowa

CTBR Staff Writer Published 04 May 2015

MidAmerican Energy plans to spend around $900m to construct two new wind farms in Iowa, bringing the company's total wind investment in the state to around $6.7bn.

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The Des Moines-based company has submitted plans to the Iowa Utilities Board for 522MW of new wind generating capacity at two undisclosed sites in Iowa.

MidAmerican is working on securing the required permits and easements for the construction of wind farms. Work is expected to start in 2016 with planned completion by the end of that year.

The company is estimating that 57% of its entire retail load could be served with the energy generated from the proposed projects.

The projects are projected to generate $1.5bn in property taxes and lease payments for the local communities over the next three decades.

MidAmerican Energy president and CEO Bill Fehrman said the company continues to focus on developing wind projects because wind generation offers many clear benefits for its customers.

"Wind continues to be a factor in keeping our customers' electricity rates among the lowest in the nation."

Commenting on MidAmerican's plans, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad said: "Thanks to our low electricity prices and commitment to renewable energy, major tech companies and other energy-intensive businesses are interested in locating and expanding facilities here, which is good economic news for all Iowans."

Since 2004, MidAmerican has invested about $5.8bn in the construction wind projects in Iowa.

The addition of the two projects would bring the company's total wind assets to about 2,000 turbines in 22 Iowa counties and over 4GW of wind generation capacity.


Image: MidAmerican plans to start construction on the two proposed wind projects in spring 2016. Photo: courtesy of pakorn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.