MidAmerican Energy announced plans recently to build wind farms at two new sites in Boone, Greene and Mahaska counties in Iowa, the first sites for their Wind XI project.
The Beaver Creek wind project will be located in Boone and Greene counties. The project will consist of 85 turbines, which will produce 170 megawatts (MW) of generation capacity. Construction is expected to begin in April and be completed by the end of 2017.
The Prairie wind project will be located in Mahaska County. It will feature 84 turbines that will add 168 MW of generation capacity.
MidAmerican Energy announced the $3.6 billion Wind XI project in April 2016. Wind XI calls for 1,000 new wind turbines that will produce 2,000 MW of generation capacity. MidAmerican plans to complete the entire project by December 2019. The project is expected to create $1.2 billion in economic benefits in Iowa over the next 40 years.
“MidAmerican Energy is not asking for an increase in customer rates or financial assistance from the state to pay for the Wind XI project,” Bill Fehrman, president and CEO of MidAmerican Energy, said. “For our customers, the benefits of Wind XI are very clear: clean energy produced right here in Iowa, using an abundant natural resource. We believe the best way to meet the energy needs of our customers is to provide safe, reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible energy.”
When the Wind XI project is completed, MidAmerican’s wind generation will equal 85 percent of energy used by its retail customers in a given year. MidAmerican is ultimately aiming for 100 percent renewable energy production.