Officials with California-based Clipper Windpower are announcing plans to create one of Iowa’s largest wind farms near the western Iowa town of Adair. A second company, Invenergy of Chicago, wants to construct another wind farm nearby in Adair and Cass counties. Invenergy development manager Ben Hach says they already have easements from landowners near Casey, south of Interstate 80.
Hach says they start off by paying a minimum of $5,000 per turbine for the first year, compounded by two-percent each year, along with a construction bonus of $2,000 per turbine. The power generated by the turbines would be fed into lines owned by MidAmerican Energy.
Hach says the project, known as "Windy Hills," is one of the largest the company’s proposed. He says some of the projects underway are between 500 and 800-megawatts so it’s a natural progression. Clipper, meanwhile, has secured more than two-thousand acres in the Adair area for a 300-megawatt wind farm. Invenergy wants to build a 500-megawatt wind farm. Hach says it would be a boon, not only to landowners, but to taxpayers and economic development.
He says it creates a tax base for a community without the community having to put any money into it. The Invenergy project would create up to 150 construction jobs, up to 25 on-going maintenance positions and several managerial jobs. If enough easements are received, construction could begin on the project in late 2009, with the first towers becoming commercially operational in 2010. The announcements by Clipper and Invenergy come just months after Alliant Energy announced plans to develop a 200-megawatt wind farm, also near Adair.