According to the American Wind Energy Association, Iowa ranks second in the nation for wind power with 6,365 megawatts of installed capacity. That’s enough wind energy to power 1.6 million homes. Now Iowa is about to add more wind power. A lot more. The Iowa Utilities Board just approved the largest wind project in the country that, when completed in 2019, will generate up to 2,000 MW of clean, renewable electricity — enough to power 800,000 homes.
“Wind energy helps us keep prices stable and more affordable for customers, provides jobs and economic benefits for communities and the state, and contributes to a cleaner environment for everyone,” said Bill Fehrman, CEO and president of the utility behind the project, Des Moines-based MidAmerican Energy.
The $3.6 billion Wind XI project will include 1,000 wind turbines. The wind farm’s location is still to be determined. The project is expected to meet the energy needs of 85 percent of the company’s customers by 2020.
“This is an amazing example of how the unstoppable transition towards a 100% clean energy economy is moving faster than many expected,” said Bruce Nilles, senior director for Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign. “This is a landmark moment not only for the burgeoning wind energy industry in Iowa, a state which already runs on more than one-third wind energy and employs thousands of hard-working Iowans, but for the entire nation, as the largest wind project ever approved in the country.”
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