Denver, United States [RenewableEnergyWorld.com] CoBank has closed a US $43 million transaction with Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative to provide permanent financing for a major wind energy project. The bond issuance arranged by CoBank financed 14 new wind turbines that, together, generate more than 71 million kilowatt-hours of renewable energy annually.
The project includes two seven-turbine wind farms that provide power to adjoining ethanol plants. One site is adjacent to an ethanol plant near Superior, Iowa, and the other sits next to a plant near Lakota, Iowa. The Iowa Lakes community-based wind farms are first-in-the-nation designs that utilize wind energy to serve another renewable energy source.
“CoBank is extremely pleased to serve as Iowa Lakes’ financial partner on this important clean energy project,” said Mary McBride, CoBank executive vice president for the Communications and Energy Banking Group. “Like rural electric cooperatives across the country, Iowa Lakes is helping to lead the nation in the promotion of renewable energy sources that benefit the environment and reduce overall dependence on fossil fuels.”
The wind project began with strategic planning by the Iowa Lakes’ board of directors, who identified northwest Iowa’s windy conditions as a resource the cooperative should use to help diversify revenue sources. Iowa Lakes broke ground on the projects in July 2008, and the wind farms began generating power in late March 2009. The projects were constructed using short-term bridge loans; the financing from CoBank provides permanent project financing.