Construction and siting of turbines

Since 2008, we have put in 344 wind turbines across Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota. In this time, we’ve learned some best practices to protect the land around the turbine and to minimize the impact of construction.

We are working with landowners to develop the best possible locations for each turbine. To do this, engineers will use precise calculations to micro-site each turbine. This is a process to find the exact best location for a turbine to make sure it catches the most wind.

This is influenced by many factors, including but not limited to:

  1. Where the best wind resources occur based on meteorological data collection
  2. Depends on existing topography
  3. Depends on placement of other wind turbine locations
  4. Landowner concerns – we always seek to minimize impacts to the landowners
  5. Iowa regulatory setback requirements
  6. Environmental concerns, such as wetlands, avian studies, storm water impacts, etc.
  7. FAA approval

For specific questions about how construction could affect a specific piece of land, please contact your land agent. Please understand that some exact details won’t be known until later in the process.

What is the construction timeline for projects in Iowa?

  • At some locations, we expect to start some land work in 2017. At other locations, we will start in 2018 or 2019. 
  • We will reach out to every affected landowner well in advance of any construction activities. You can always contact your land agent to find specific details.
  • We expect all the turbines to be operating in 2020. Some will start operating in 2019.  

To get a better idea of how a turbine - including the base - is built. check out this time-lapse video.

Environmental considerations and work

Beyond complying with all environmental laws and regulations on a daily basis – we integrate environmental impacts into our planning, construction and operating and maintenance activities. Siting of wind farms is the best time to determine how best to co-exist with wildlife. Spending time on avian/wildlife surveys, avoiding wetlands and river basins and following the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service land-based wind energy guidelines are key items in responsible development practices.

We take into account several environmental and permitting considerations, including:

  • Wildlife
  • Wetlands
  • Noise
  • Shadow flicker
  • Cultural resources
  • Storm water control
  • Towers
  • Zoning considerations
  • Floodplains
  • CRP/Sensitive areas

These considerations play a large role in how we micro-site, or decide where to build turbines.

Information for landowners

For the Whispering Willow expansion in Franklin County, Iowa, Alliant Energy is using JCG Land Services Inc. to work directly with landowners. 

Whispering Willow Field Office:
108 South Akir Street
Latimer, Iowa 50452
Phone: 515-686-0761

For landowners with other development projects, please contact the agents you are currently working with.

If you need other help, please call Andrew Pollard at 319-786-4740.

Information for suppliers

For project information, including use of contractors and suppliers, contact Thad Ramsey at ThadeusRamsey@alliantenergy.com or 319-786-4581. 
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