Published on October 31st, 2017 | by Joshua S Hill0
MidAmerican Energy Announces Third Site For 2 Gigawatt Iowa Wind XI Project
October 31st, 2017 by Joshua S Hill
Midwestern American energy utility MidAmerican Energy has this week announced plans to build the third wind farm as part of the mammoth 2 gigawatt Wind XI project in Iowa, the largest economic development project in the state’s history.
The Wind XI project was first announced over a year ago, in April of 2016, when MidAmerican Energy announced its commitment to invest $3.6 billion into the 2 gigawatt (GW) Iowa Wind XI — a project made up of multiple wind energy projects totaling 2 GW that will go down as the largest economic development project in Iowa’s history, not to mention MidAmerican Energy’s own largest wind project ever. MidAmerican Energy’s plans were approved by the Iowa Utilities Board in August of 2016 with the intention of completing all 2 GW worth of installations by the end of 2019.
Wind XI is expected to generate an average of approximately $12.5 million per year in property taxes for the state of Iowa, as well as $18 million per year in landowner payments, and $48 million per year in state and local expenditures associated with the project. Vestas Wind Systems also announced in September of 2016 that it had received preliminary orders for 214 megawatt (MW) worth of wind turbines for the Wind XI project, and added that it believed it might supply up to 1,000 of its V110-2.0 MW wind turbines to the project which, if true, would mean Vestas would be the sole wind turbine supplier for the project — though this has not been further confirmed.
MidAmerican Energy already announced in January the first two wind projects that will make up the opening salvo in the Wind XI development — the 170 MW Beaver Creek wind project will consist of 85 wind turbines, and the 168 MW Prairie wind project will be made up of 84 wind turbines, together located across the Iowa counties of Boone, Greene, and Mahaska.
The development of Wind XI continues this week, as MidAmerican Energy announced the third new wind farm to be built as part of the larger project, the 340 MW North English wind farm, a 170 wind turbine project to be located in Poweshiek County that is expected to pay up to approximately $137 million in county property taxes and up to approximately $114 million in landowner lease payments over the 40-year lifespan of the project.
Construction activity is already underway on the North English wind farm, and is expected to be complete in December of 2018, and will share some infrastructure sites with the Prairie wind farm currently under construction in neighbouring Mahaska County.
“We are excited to continue development of our Wind XI project and come closer to achieving our 100% Renewable Vision,” said Bill Fehrman, president and CEO of MidAmerican Energy. “The benefits of Wind XI are very clear: clean energy produced right here in Iowa, for Iowa customers, using one of Iowa’s abundant renewable resources.”
MidAmerican Energy also announced that it is already working with developers, county officials, and landowners at potential wind farm sites across Iowa for the remaining Wind XI projects — with missing capacity currently standing at 1,322 MW. Construction on these projects will begin in 2018 and 2019 and MidAmerican Energy will announce the site locations in time.