A new report shows Iowa led the nation in the amount of wind power that came online during April, May and June. Nearly 60% of the electricity being generated in Iowa comes from wind turbines and solar installations according to the Clean Grid Alliance.
“The wind is at Iowans’ backs is the message,” said Jeff Danielson, a vice president for the Clean Grid Alliance.
Iowa has a trifecta when it comes to so-called clean energy, according to Danielson.
“The future is bright and our batteries are charged up and ready to go because both solar and investment and battery storage investment — Iowa is an attractive place for investment in those two as well,” he said.
According to the Clean Grid Alliance, Iowa ranks third in the nation for its capacity to store renewable energy in battery facilities. There’s currently some push back on proposed wind farms near Algona, Shenandoah and Sioux City. MidAmerican Energy has said its proposed wind farm in Woodbury County won’t move forward if county supervisors update an ordinance requiring more space between wind turbines and homes. Danielson says that resistance isn’t unexpected, as property owner often have strong opinions about what is being built around them.
“We’re confident that Iowans see the value and the wisdom of clean energy over the long haul and still today the vast majority of projects are approved,” Danielson said. “The business environment is still really positive in Iowa.”
Landowners who agree to have a turbine on their property, as part of a company’s larger wind farm project, are paid a yearly stipend. Yearly payments are also part of large scale solar installations.
“Wind and solar farms in Iowa are long term
relationships with the individual land owners,” Danielson said. “It’s actually a farmer’s value added business. It’s another way to diversity their revenue.”
That differs from negotiations for the proposed carbon capture pipelines, which involve a one-time payment for property easements.
This American Clean Power Week. Governor Reynolds signed a proclamation about solar power this week. According to the industry, solar panel related investment last year topped $187-million.