Alliant Approval Advances Iowa's Wind Leadership

posted by Nathaniel Baer on Thursday, October 27, 2016

Iowa's national leadership on wind energy took a significant step forward this week. The Iowa Utilities Board (Board) approved Alliant Energy's proposal to build 500 megawatts (MW) of new wind energy in Iowa. Alliant's wind project approval follows the approval earlier this year of MidAmerican Energy's 2,000 MW Wind XI project.This means at least 2,500 MW of wind will be built in Iowa in the next several years. 

Wind farm

These new wind projects will help Iowa reach major milestones by 2020, with wind capacity of nearly 10,000 MW, making up more than 40% of electricity generation in the state.

The Board's order earlier this week modified a settlement agreement reached by parties in the wind project proceeding. Today, Alliant officially accepted the Board order. The Council partnered with ELPC to intervene in the proceeding, with Council Energy Program Director Nathaniel Baer filing testimony in support along with wind energy expert Tom Wind. 

In another sign of Iowa's wind energy leadership, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) released its quarterly wind market update at a statehouse news event today. AWEA's market update highlights another milestone: Iowa exceeded 35% wind in the twelve month period from July 2015 - July 2016. Iowa's 35.8% is well above the next closest states. Governor Branstad, Lieutenant Governor Reynolds, and representatives from AWEA, Vestas, MidAmerican, and Alliant spoke at the event. Vestas is supplying wind turbines for MidAmerican's Wind XI project. 

This year is shaping up to be one of the best yet for wind energy in Iowa, but there is tremendous potential to continue to expand wind in future years. We look forward to advancing the policies and projects to make that happen. 

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About The Author

Nathaniel joined the Council in 2007. He researches and advocates for policies to expand solar, wind, transmission and energy efficiency, and coordinates the Council’s coalition of allies on energy and climate issues. Nathaniel currently serves on the Midwest Power Sector Collaborative, a s ... read more