Governor Culver has signed two bills into law that are designed to boost the state’s wind energy industry.
Roya Stanley, director of the Iowa Office of Energy Independence, kicked off a bill signing ceremony in the governor’s office. "We come here to celebrate, in effect," Stanley said.
One bill sets aside $1 million in tax credits for wind energy companies that engage in research and development. The other bill allows colleges and universities, cooperatives and other groups of Iowans who want to generate their own electricity to qualify for the wind energy production tax credit.
Bill Schrad of Carroll is part of the Carroll Area Wind Association. "I’m a technology coordinator for Kuemper Catholic Schools in Carroll," he says. "I am hopefully a future owner of one of 10 wind turbines our group is working to install in Carroll County."
Schrad says their project started about six years ago.
"This will be one of the first, locally-owned wind farms in Iowa," he says. "It involves 10 utility-scale wind turbines which will produce enough electricity for approximately 8000 typical Iowa homes. The 10 turbines will owned by 10 mostly-local Carroll County residents who are farmers, land owners or business owners. As entrepreneurs, we believe in the importance of local ownership in this 21st century industry. This legislation starts to level the playing field for locally-owned projects. Our project would not happen without this legislation."
A few dozen legislators crowded into the governor’s office to watch him sign the bills into law. The governor suggested the new tax credit for wind energy research and development could lure a company to northwest Iowa.
"Specifically, this has the potential to create up to 400 new jobs in Sioux City alone," Culver said.
According to Governor Culver, nearly 2300 "pioneering" Iowans currently work in wind energy-related businesses. Listen to today’s ceremony in the governor’s office by clicking on the audio link below.