Last week, Alliant Energy filed for approval with the Iowa Utilities Board to add 500 megawatts of wind energy in Iowa. A decision is expected to be made by early 2018.
If approved, this decision will solidify Iowa’s position as the state with the highest percentage of wind power in the nation, and will propel Iowa past 40% by 2020. Iowa is a national leader in wind energy and continues to expand their wind growth.
By 2020, Alliant Energy is expected to add 1 Gigawatt of wind power with an investment total around $1.8 billion. This new project, along with their other Whispering Wind Willows project, will supply enough power to 430,000 homes.
Along with generating power to homes, wind expansion projects such as these, create hundreds of jobs within the industry. Additionally, landowners benefit from property taxes, tax revenues, and payments made to landowners.
“We are truly excited by Alliant Energy’s announcement” stated John Boorman, Vice President of the Iowa Wind Energy Association. He continued, “It is imperative that wind projects like these continue to sprout in Iowa. There are immense benefits that they provide. Iowans have seen before the positive effects wind turbines and wind energy has in our state.”
Wind has no associated fuel expenses, which provides cost stability to customers. Tax incentives and new technology also help lower the cost of wind. Wind is providing more efficient energy consumption than all of its renewable competitors, making it affordable and accessible. This makes wind energy a great long term investment for utilities.
“[New wind projects] help us keep energy costs stable for our customers,” said Mike Wagner, spokesman for Alliant Energy, “We have a diverse energy mix and more wind equates to one generation source, making it cheaper for our customers.”
In 2016, Alliant Energy received approval for a similar project expansion. This project, still in the process of being completed, cost $1 billion and will add 500 megawatts of energy to Iowa. During operation, when natural wind slows down, the turbines will turn up to a higher power, which offsets the decreasing natural wind. This feature make wind energy more efficient.
The location of the new wind energy project will be determined once approval for the project is received. The company expects that more than a third of its Iowa energy will be wind-powered by 2020.
Alliant Energy plans to continue investing in the expansion of renewable wind energy industry across its territory.