An Iowa cooperative has reached an agreement to buy part of the power generated by a new wind farm being built in Hancock County in north central Iowa. Dale Arends is the president of the Corn Belt Power Cooperative that supplies electricity to 27 north central Iowa counties.He says the center will include 150 windmills and his coop will purchase around 10-percent of the energy produced by the center. Arends says the new wind farm was a natural fit for his company. He says they’d been surveying members and found an interest in participating in a renewable energy project. Arends says there’s a misconception that companies get into wind energy because it’s very profitable.He says they need to match the output of the facilities to what the energy is going to cost, so you don’t have one type of energy subsidizing another. Some think traditional power companies are against renewable energy sources because they’re competition. He says it’s more a matter of the cost. He says they’re not against wind, but they need to get into it at a price that makes it economical for members. The wind could be converted to power in the new project within a year. He says they expect at least 40 of the windmills to be up by the end of 2003 year, and they could be producing power by January of 2004. Some of the rural electric cooperatives supplied by Arends’ coop are:Boone Valley Electric Coop in Renwick; Butler County REC in Allison; Calhoun County Electric Cooperative in Rockwell City; Franklin REC in Hampton; Glidden REC in Glidden, Grundy County REC in Grundy Center; Humboldt County REC in Humboldt; Iowa Lakes Cooperative in Estherville; Midland Power Cooperative in Jefferson, Prairie Energy Cooperative in Clarion, Sac County REC in Sac City; the North Iowa Municipal Electric Cooperative Association, and Webster City Municipal Utilities.
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