US Energy company MidAmerican Energy announced late August that it would proceed with its $3.6 billion investment into the 2 GW Wind XI project set to be developed in Iowa.
MidAmerican Energy announced that it had received the final order and approval from the Iowa Utilities Board on August 26 for Wind XI, which will use 1,000 wind turbines to reach a total planned capacity of 2 GW. Completion for the project is expected by the end of 2019, and upon completion will result in the largest economic development project in Iowa’s history, as well as being the largest wind project MidAmerican Energy has ever undertaken.
Specifically, Wind XI will be spread out across multiple sites in Iowa, being placed into service over a three year period starting in 2017 and ending in 2019.
“This is an exciting day for our customers, the state of Iowa and MidAmerican Energy,” said Bill Fehrman, president and CEO of MidAmerican Energy. “We thank the board for its support and for moving quickly to deliver this ruling.”
A project this size might in some cynical areas raise questions over the financial impact on taxpayers, but MidAmerican Energy has promised that Wind XI will be paying for the whole project itself, and will not be asking for an increase in customer utility rates or financial assistance from the state.
In addition, the Wind XI project will generate more than $1.2 billion in landowner easement and property tax payments over the next 40 years, while during construction the project will provide for thousands of jobs, and hundreds of jobs upon completion and throughout the life of the project.
“Wind energy helps us keep prices stable and more affordable for customers, provides jobs and economic benefits for communities and the state, and contributes to a cleaner environment for everyone,” Fehrman added.
MidAmerican Energy announced its commitment to the project back in April of this year, labeling the project a big step towards the company’s own goal of reaching 100% renewable energy for all its Iowa customers.