Regulatory approval granted to ambitious wind energy project
The Iowa Utilities Board has granted approval for a plan to boost the state’s wind energy capacity by 1.05 gigawatts by 2015. The organization has approved a plan that comes from MidAmerican Energy, one of the largest energy companies in the U.S. Winning this approval paves the way for the company to launch its $1.9 billion wind energy endeavor, which involves the establishment of several new wind farms throughout the state of Iowa.
First wind farm to begin construction in September
The first of these wind farms is scheduled to begin construction in September of this year. The sites at which these wind energy systems will take root are already under development from MidAmerican Energy. The company has also secured interconnection rights that will allow these wind farms to be connected to Iowa’s energy grid. In total, MidAmerican Energy aims to erect 448 new wind turbines throughout the state.
Initiative expected to produce numerous jobs
The initiative is expected to create 460 construction jobs with an estimated payroll of $30 million over the next two years. Once the wind energy systems are finished being built, they will be able to support 48 permanent jobs with a payroll of $2.4 million. The new wind farms are also expected to cut into the cost of electricity. By 2017, the wind energy systems could contribute to rate reductions as high as $10 million annually.
Economic prospects of wind energy make it attractive to Iowa
Iowa has adopted a strong interest in wind energy due to its economic prospects. The state does have environmental concerns, of course, regarding the continued use of fossil-fuels. For now, however, these environmental concerns have been unable to support the adoption of wind energy on their own. The economic benefits that could be gleaned through the use of wind energy are currently the most attractive feature for renewable energy as a whole.