MidAmerican Energy Unveils Wind Expansion Plan

MidAmerican Energy is planning a new wind project that will add up to another 540 megawatts (MW) of wind energy in Iowa, subject to Iowa Utilities Board approval.

“In addition to the environmental benefit of adding new wind energy production in Iowa, customers of MidAmerican Energy will continue to benefit from electric rate stability,” said Greg Abel, president of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company. “The last electric rate increase MidAmerican Energy customers experienced was in 1995, and we propose adding the new wind energy while maintaining electric rate stability until 2014, which is nearly 20 years of electric rate stability for MidAmerican Energy customers.” MidAmerican Energy owns and operates 323 wind turbines at three sites in northwest, north central and west central Iowa. The wind projects have the capacity to generate 459.5 MW of electricity, enough to power approximately 144,000 homes. When MidAmerican Energy completes a 123-megawatt wind project in Pocahontas County later this year, Iowa will have more than 1,000 megawatts of wind energy. “Iowa has become a national leader in wind energy not through mandates, but by offering incentives and utilizing a cooperative approach involving utilities, lawmakers, regulators, equipment manufacturers and even schools,” said Iowa Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal of Council Bluffs. “This is one more major voluntary project that will help Iowa maintain its leadership position on renewable energy.” “As I’ve told the Iowa Legislature, we are not the only state working towards energy independence. We must maintain the leadership we have worked so hard to develop; we must compete and do so aggressively; and,” said Iowa Governor Chet Culver, “I challenge regulators, business professionals and utility companies in Iowa to add another 1,015 megawatts of renewable energy to bring Iowa to 2,015 megawatts by 2015.”
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