In a joint news conference with Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad in mid April outlined a plan to invest $3.6 billion to install additional wind turbines in Iowa by year-end 2019. If approved by the Iowa Utilities Board, the project – Wind XI – will be the largest economic development project in Iowa’s history.
In 2015, the energy that generated from wind equaled 47% of the energy sold to our retail customers in Iowa. That figure is expected to increase to 58% in 2017 with existing projects. When the 2,000-megawatt Wind XI project is completed, our annual renewable energy generation is expected to reach a level that’s equivalent to approximately 85% of our Iowa retail customers’ annual use.
We have asked the Iowa Utilities Board to approve our request by September 2016, which will allow us to take full advantage of the federal production tax credits available for construction of new wind projects. We will work to finalize the locations for project development while the Iowa Utilities Board considers our request.
Wind XI will generate an average of about $12.5 million per year in property tax payments, $18 million per year in landowner payments, and $48 million per year in state and local expenditures associated with the project.
Current Projects: Construction has begun on the Ida Grove and O’Brien wind farms, which will add up to 552 megawatts of wind generation capacity to the existing fleet. The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2016. Plans call for approximately 134 turbines and up to 301 megawatts of generation capacity at the Ida Grove wind farm, and approximately 104 turbines and 250 megawatts of generation capacity at the new O’Brien wind farm.