MidAmerican announces $3.6 billion wind energy project

MidAmerican Energy Company says it plans to spend $3.6 billion on a wind turbine operation that will generate up to 2,000 megawatts of electricity.

Bill Fehrman, the utility’s CEO and president, announced the project Thursday at an event in Des Moines attended by Gov. Terry Branstad and other state officials. Officials say the wind farm will be the largest economic development project in the state’s history.

Fehrman says when the project is completed, the utility will generate wind energy that equals 85 percent of its annual customer sales in Iowa. MidAmerican is the state’s largest utility.

MidAmerican didn’t release where the new turbines would be erected but says the utility will finalize locations while the Iowa Utilities Board considers the project.

Senator Charles Grassley is excited about this announcement, he says, “Wind energy is having a banner year, and it’s only April.  The potential for wind energy in Iowa and the nation looks endless.  I’m grateful for the latest investment in the people of Iowa.  The number of jobs in this industry continues to grow.  There are more than 6,000 good wind jobs in Iowa.   In addition to the direct jobs, wind energy is a selling point for tech companies that located to Iowa in part because they wanted to take advantage of wind energy.  Clean energy appeals across the board.  I hope the tax certainty enacted last year contributed to the announcement today and that it will encourage other projects in Iowa and across the country over the next five years.”