The state of Iowa is continuing its leadership in wind energy and showcasing the state‘s forward-looking strategy to develop alternative energy sources for the economy of the future. Well on the path to generate 20% of its electricity from wind turbines, the state is receiving recognition from several key government and industry leaders who say Iowa will play an important role in meeting the President’s energy goals.
According to the 2010 AWEA Industry Report, Iowa continues to lead the nation in wind generation with 15% of its electricity coming from wind. That number is expected to reach 20% later this year when Des Moines-based MidAmerican Energy completes its expansion, bringing Iowa one step closer to its goal of generating half the state‘s electricity from wind by the year 2030. That would also let it export 30% of its wind energy to other states.
Iowa Governor Terry Branstad also echoed plans for the state‘s wind industry growth saying, “Iowa‘s continued strength and leadership in the wind industry is a testament to our state‘s vision and legacy of being a trailblazer in alternative energies. Our workforce, natural resources, and wind marketplace are growing exponentially each year, and we anticipate even more momentum with companies such as Nadicom and MidAmerican working on projects that will bring more jobs, income and innovations to the state.”
The U.S. wind market entered 2011 with 5,600 MW under construction—more than twice the amount of megawatts under construction at the start of 2010. Iowa‘s wind industry continues its expansion with over 2,500 turbines capable of producing 3,675 MW, making it second among U.S. states in total generation. Iowa has led the nation in attracting wind energy manufacturers and boasts a supply chain that supports more than 2,300 jobs and involves over 80 Iowa businesses.
Centrally located, Iowa is at the heart of a region that boasts some of the nation‘s most abundant wind resources and where four proposed transmission lines converge to distribute Midwestern wind to various regional transmission systems. Iowa is home to companies such as Siemens, Clipper Windpower, Trinity Towers, Acciona Windpower, and TPI Composites.
The state also offers assisted training programs in which community colleges work with company trainers to develop customized programs for students who want to work in the wind energy industry – shortening the time between hiring and profitable productivity.
Iowa by the numbers
Here’s a quick look at the state’s wind industry.
- Iowa ranks second nationally in current wind generation output with 3,675 MW installed with 2,534 turbines across the state. (AWEA, 2011)
- The state is number one in the nation for wind generation as a percentage of total power output at 17 to 20%. (Iowa Utilities Board, 2010)
- MidAmerican Energy is second among investor-owned utilities in ownership of wind energy farms with about 3,129 MW in production (AWEA, 2010).
- Acciona Windpower was recently awarded over $3 million by the Iowa Power Fund to install new wind generation turbines in Iowa.
- Seven of the state’s community colleges have joined with the state’s three regent universities to form comprehensive wind energy training programs.
- A heritage of manufacturing is fueled by a ready source of qualified and skilled workers. About 4,100 manufacturers employ more than 198,000 Iowans and generate more than $9.5 billion in payroll.
- Iowa invested $7.5 million into transportation for the wind industry, specifically wind to rail facilities and barge facilities. These are scheduled to come online in the next few years.
Filed Under: News, Projects