To conclude what I’ve come to think of as “wind week” here at the BLUZ, here is a story of MidAmerican Energy’s latest western Iowa project. The Iowa-based utility company will add 67 wind turbines at two western Iowa locations: 64 in Adams County in southwest Iowa, and three in O’Brien County northwest Iowa. The turbines have the potential to generate 162 megawatts of energy, enough to power 48,000 homes.
More than 27 percent of Iowa’s energy comes from wind, the highest state percentage in the nation. Iowa also has the seventh-best wind resource, or potential for wind energy generation, in the U.S. (in other words, the wind blows a lot here). Wind energy production in Iowa has received little of the resistance experienced in other locations around the country. The western Iowa counties where the wind farms are locating – in addition to being the windiest parts of the state – are also some of the most sparsely populated. Few of the rural residents are non-agland holders, meaning that the landowners affected by the turbines are also the people that gain the most financially from the industry’s growth.
The Des Moines Register article is here. It includes a good summary of the investments in the wind industry in Iowa.