We are working to add up to 1,000 megawatts of wind energy to Iowa by end of 2020

On August 3, 2017, we announced plans to add up to 500 megawatts of additional wind generation to Iowa. 

This is in addition to a similar 500-megawatt expansion we announced and received approval for in 2016. Combined, these two projects would add 1,000 megawatts of wind generation to Iowa. That’s enough energy to power around 430,000 homes each year.

The combined expansion represents a total investment of approximately $1.8 billion. 

What benefits will Iowa see as a result of this project?  

  • Each project would provide enough renewable energy to power 215,000 homes per year.
  • Hundreds of jobs for Iowa during construction.
  • Tens of millions in local property taxes throughout the life of the wind farms.
  • Millions of dollars in lease payments to landowners.
  • This and other wind projects will contribute to our target to reduce carbon dioxide emissions 40% from 2005 levels by the year 2030 across our entire service area.

What is the timeline? 

On August 3, 2017 we filed with the Iowa Utilities Board to seek ratemaking principals on an additional 500 megawatts of wind energy. We expect a decision in January 2018.

If approved, we would add this additional 500 megawatts to the 500 megawatts we received approval for in 2016.

The construction will be done in phases with everything complete by December 31, 2020. 

Why are you adding more wind energy now?

  • We are proposing this today so that our customers can benefit from the improved economics of wind and receive low-cost, renewable energy for decades.
  • Wind has no associated fuel expenses, which helps provide cost stability to customers.
  • New technologies and tax incentives have helped drive down the cost of wind, making it competitive with other sources of energy. For example:
    • Improvements in technology have increased power output. Taller towers capture wind at higher elevations, leading to better performance.
    • Turbines and construction costs continue to decrease as the wind market continues to grow.

Tax incentives are only available for a limited period. If we don’t move forward today, we will miss an opportunity to provide our customers with the net benefits that result from investing in wind.  


Click the image below to launch a 360-degree video tour of Whispering Willow Wind Farm.

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