Iowa’s largest utility company announced plans today to add 67 more wind turbines in the state, producing an additional 162 megawatts of wind energy. MidAmerican Energy president and CEO Bill Fehrman says the project includes the construction of a new wind farm in southwest Iowa’s Adams County.
“It will add 153 megawatts of wind generation capacity and consist of 64 turbines,” Fehrman said. “The construction jobs related to this will be approximately 200 and then once construction is completed, it will result in 10 additional jobs in the Adams County area.”
Three more wind turbines will be added to an existing project in northwest Iowa. “Those three turbines will be added in O’Brien County and will bring the total megawatts to 502 at that project, which will be the largest single wind site in the state of Iowa when completed,” Fehrman said. This new $280 million investment in wind generation follows MidAmerican’s $1.9 billion wind energy project announced last year. Fehrman said the company is not requesting any state incentives for this new project.
MidAmerican started building wind farms in Iowa 10 years ago. “At the conclusion of this project, we will have invested over $6 billion in wind generation in this state,” Fehrman said. The blades for the 67 new turbines will be made at the Siemens plant in Fort Madison.
MidAmerican has partnered with Siemens Energy on past projects as well. “They build an exceptionally high quality product and they’re the lowest cost provider for us on these projects,” Fehrman said of Siemens. “We don’t automatically go to Siemens. They have to compete along with (other companies) and they’re very successful in what they do.”
If the plans for this new project are approved by the Iowa Utilities Board, Fehrman expects construction would begin in Adams and O’Brien Counties in the spring of 2015. Coupled with projects currently underway in Grundy, Madison, O’Brien, and Webster Counties, Fehrman projects MidAmerican will have 3,500 megawatts of wind generation capacity in Iowa by the end of 2015.
That’s enough power to provide energy to approximately one-million Iowa homes.