Construction of the 443.9-megawatt Rolling Hills wind energy project in Iowa is progressing on schedule

Construction of the 443.9-megawatt Rolling Hills wind power project in southwest Iowa is progressing on schedule toward a planned year-end completion. Today, officials from MidAmerican Energy Company, Mortenson Construction and Siemens Energy gathered with community leaders and local residents at the site to showcase the wind farm project. Attendees celebrated the region’s continued focus on bringing renewable energy and economic development to the heartland of America.

A wind turbine blade was displayed at the event, providing attendees the rare opportunity to see a wind turbine blade up close. The blade, which was manufactured at Siemens’ blade manufacturing plant in Fort Madison, Iowa, is approximately half the length of a football field and weighs 12 tons. Attendees were encouraged to sign the blade to commemorate the day’s celebration.

Siemens is supplying 193 of its SWT-2.3-101 wind turbines to the Rolling Hills wind farm, located in Adair, Adams and Cass counties. Each wind turbine is capable of producing 2.3 megawatts of energy. Mortenson Construction is installing the wind turbines, as well as constructing the balance of the project infrastructure, which includes approximately 37 miles of access roads and approximately 139 miles of underground wiring.

Rolling Hills is one of three MidAmerican Energy wind projects underway in Iowa this year. Wind turbines also are being constructed in Calhoun, Marshall and Pocahontas counties.

In December 2010, at the conclusion of a competitive tender process, MidAmerican Energy and Siemens entered into a turbine supply agreement for 258 wind turbines. Mortenson Construction, based in Minneapolis, Minn., was selected through a separate competitive tender process to construct the wind projects and to install access roads, underground electrical collection systems and internal tower wiring.

When completed, the 258 wind turbine expansion project will add 593.4 megawatts of renewable energy to MidAmerican Energy’s generation portfolio, enough capacity to power approximately 190,000 average homes.

MidAmerican Energy Company, Iowa’s largest energy company, provides electric service to 729,000 customers and natural gas service to 709,000 customers in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and South Dakota. It is headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa.

Since entering the renewable energy market in 1995, Mortenson Construction has become a leading builder of wind power facilities in North America, having constructed more than 100 wind projects throughout the U.S. and Canada. In addition to wind power, Mortenson’s Renewable Energy Groups construct facilities that generate solar power, biofuels and hydroelectric power.