Work is underway to highlight the history of windmills in a central Iowa county that has become one of the state’s top job creators in the wind energy industry. The Jasper County Historical Museum has landed a $9,800 grant for the exhibit, scheduled for completion in the fall of 2013.

Linda Perrenoud, who serves on the museum’s board of directors, says the display will include replicas of windmills dating back to the early 1800s. “Now we have the turbines…and I think it’s interesting to note that the form of the windmill hasn’t really changed,” Perrenoud says.

 Newton is home to two companies that supply components for wind energy production. TPI Composites and Trinity Structural Towers, combined, employ around 800 people.

Perrenoud says the indoor and outdoor exhibit will feature a working diorama. “It’s going to show how all those windmills worked and what they were powering,” Perrenoud says. “We’ll have windmill displays up and functioning. One will be pumping water into an old-fashioned water tub. We’re excited about it.”

The $9,800 grant for the exhibit comes from the Silos and Smokestacks National Heritage Area.

By Randy Van, KCOB, Newton