Des Moines, Iowa [REA News] MidAmerican Energy had the wind energy plan, they simply didn’t announce the location for a 310 MW wind project in Iowa until the year extension on the Federal production tax credit (PTC) was approved.The $323 million project is proposed for two sites in north central and northwest Iowa. One site is an area north of Blairsburg, and the other is southwest of Storm Lake in Buena Vista and Sac counties. Approximately 100 GE Wind Energy 1.5 MW wind turbines are slated for construction at each location. Together, the sites could provide enough energy to power approximately 85,000 homes. “This project will result in significant long-term payments to dozens of landowners, the creation of 250 construction jobs and approximately 20 operations jobs, while also solidifying Iowa’s position as a leading producer of power from this renewable, environmentally friendly source,” said President of MidAmerican Energy Todd Raba. “MidAmerican is making this significant investment in the state at a time when it has extended its electric rate agreement to keep rates stable through 2010.” Commissioning a wind farm location will help Iowa work toward the state’s renewable portfolio standard of 1,000 MW of renewable energy by 2010. Company officials credited Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, the “father of the wind energy tax credit”, as a key player in helping the development move forward. A significant amount of development work has already been completed, and more than 100 wind turbines have gone up at the site in Sac and Buena Vista counties. The project is scheduled for completion by the end of 2004. Construction at the site in Wright and Hamilton counties is scheduled for completion in 2005, and each site will use GE Wind Energy’s 1.5 MW wind turbines. “We are delighted with the opportunity to play a major role in a project that will help meet Iowa’s goal to have 1,000 megawatts of renewable generation by 2010,” said Steve Zwolinski, president of GE Wind Energy. Project developers enXco and Clipper Windpower Development Company have also contracted to work on the developments. MidAmerican, which started in the power business with natural gas, nuclear and coal power plants, is also constructing a 540 MW Greater Des Moines Energy Center in Pleasant Hill, Iowa, and a 790 MW Council Bluffs Energy Center Unit 4.