New Wind Power Project Destined for Iowa

Most renewable energy news coming out of Iowa these days is on the ethanol front, but this week enXco Development Corporation and Mid American Energy Company signed an agreement to develop and construct a 123-megawatt (MW) wind facility located in Pocahontas County, North central Iowa. Construction of this project is scheduled to begin later this year and is scheduled to be completed prior to the end of 2007.

In April 2006, MidAmerican announced a 99-MW wind project in Crawford and Carroll counties in west central Iowa following Iowa Utilities Board approval of the company’s plan to build up to 545 MW of new wind-powered electric generation in Iowa before the end of 2007. “We’re pleased that construction is underway at the project in Carroll and Crawford counties,” said Tom Budler, MidAmerican Energy’s wind project manager. “We’re scheduled to have the project in Carroll and Crawford counties online by the end of this year, and construction is expected to get underway at the Pocahontas County site later this year.” The ultimate size of MidAmerican Energy’s 2006-2007 wind expansion project, its overall cost and possible additional locations have not been finalized, but electric rates — the cost per kilowatt hour of electricity — in Iowa for MidAmerican customers will remain at current levels through at least 2010 pursuant to the Iowa Utilities Board order approving the project. The last time MidAmerican’s customers experienced an electric rate increase was 1995. The 123-MW wind facility site in Pocahontas County will be developed and constructed by enXco Development Corporation and will use 82 GE Energy 1.5-MW wind turbines. Invenergy Wind Development Iowa LLC is constructing the 99-megawatt wind facility in Carroll and Crawford counties that will use 66 GE Energy 1.5-MW wind turbines. MidAmerican currently owns and operates 360.5 MW of wind energy facilities in northwest and north central Iowa that have the capability to produce enough electricity to power 100,000 homes.
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