Iowa is already one of the nation’s leaders in generating electricity from the wind, and legislation passed recently in Congress should help that industry continue to grow. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says his Wind Energy Tax Credit was included in legislation that passed early Saturday morning before Congress adjourned for the year.

Grassley says the bill will extend tax credits for building new wind turbines through the year 2008. Grassley says “Wind energy is something I got passed in 1992 when the cost of making electricity by wind was seven-and-a-half cents per kilowatt hour. We’ve got that down to about four-point-three but it’s got to get down to three-and-a-half before we need an incentive for offsetting the difference between coal and wind.”

Grassley says Iowa ranks third in the nation for electricity generated by wind and extending the tax credits will allow more turbines to be built. Grassley says “Ever better technology and improved turbines give wind energy tremendous opportunity to blow away shadows of doubt about its potential to help meet America’s energy needs and bring down energy prices.”

Iowa already has some 840 of the giant wind turbines spinning, with more than 220 under construction. The big “propellers” are all over the state, but the heaviest concentration is in the northwest and north-central regions. Grassley says now those Iowa wind farms will keep growing.

Grassley says “I don’t have a specific project in mind but I have heard of several where they were waiting for us to get this wind energy production credit underway so that it would continue their construction.” Wind power is considered the fastest growing renewable resource both in the world — and in Iowa.