Iowa Gov. Branstad cites wind energy jobs, current and future

Speaking at an American Wind Energy Association Supply Chain Workshop in Des Moines Tuesday, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) said up to 5,000 jobs are currently supported by his state’s wind power manufacturing and wind farm development industries.

Wind turbines companies operate in 56 of Iowa’s 99 counties, according to Branstad, who hopes for further growth in the state’s wind power industry as he aims to boost the Iowa economy. Iowa already ranks second among the 50 states in installed wind farm generating capacity. Added Branstad, "We cannot overlook the impact of the wind power industry on economic development and jobs in Iowa."

According to the Quad City Times, Branstad also called for extension of the federal wind energy production tax credit (PTC), which expires at the end of 2012, and urged continued effort to develop more electric transmission capacity to make more low-cost wind energy available to the nation’s consumers. Branstad will be co-hosting a Midwestern Governors’ Association meeting in Des Moines this week that will focus on transmission issues.

Tom Gray,