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MidAmerican Energy plans to develop $3.6bn wind project in Iowa, US

CTBR Staff Writer Published 15 April 2016

MidAmerican Energy is filing a request with the Iowa Utilities Board to construct the 2GW Wind XI project, with an investment of $3.6bn.

The company said it will work to finalize locations for its development while the Iowa Utilities Board considers the project filing request.

MidAmerican has also asked the IUB to clear its rate-making principles by September this year. It would allow the company to take full advantage of the extended production tax credit (PTC) for wind power.

The move increases the company's investment in wind energy from $6.6bn to more than $10bn in the region.

Claimed to be the largest wind project that the company has undertaken so far, Wind XI is being constructed without seeking increase in customer rates or state funding.

MidAmerican Energy CEO and president Bill Fehrman said: "We have a bold vision for our energy future. We don't know of another U.S. energy provider that has staked out this 100 percent position.

"Our customers want more renewable energy, and we couldn't agree more. Once the project is complete, we will generate wind energy equal to 85 percent of our annual customer sales in Iowa, bringing us within striking distance of our 100 percent renewable vision."

The project is expected to generate around $12.5m per year in tax property payments, $18m a year in landowner payments, and $48m a year in state and other local expenditures.

Iowa Economic Development Authority director Debi Durham said that the wind power would facilitate as many as 7,000 jobs in Iowa.

She added: "Investments of this scale are viable because federal production tax credits are at their highest level. It makes sense to leverage that benefit to solidify Iowa's leadership in wind energy. Today's announcement continues to build Iowa's legacy in the renewable energy space - and in a very real way, provides economic benefits to all Iowans."