Council Applauds Alliant Energy Wind Announcement

posted by Nathaniel Baer on Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Wind turbine

The Council applauds today’s wind energy announcement by Alliant Energy, which builds on Iowa’s strong wind energy momentum and positions the state to reach several key clean energy milestones.

Alliant Energy today announced a wind project that would add up to 500 MW of new wind energy in Iowa. Alliant has asked the Iowa Utilities Board for an order approving the project yet this year, which will allow it to take advantage of the full value of the federal production tax credit for wind (PTC).

According to major national Department of Energy studies on a national transition to wind energy, Iowa could reach 10,000 MW of wind by 2020 and 20,000 MW of wind by 2030. Alliant’s announcement, along with other currently proposed wind projects, will allow Iowa to exceed 9,000 MW of wind in advance of 2020 and position the state to reach the 2020 milestone.

Alliant Energy’s proposal also positions the utility to comply with the Clean Power Plan. The Council’s analysis on compliance for Iowa’s modest carbon pollution reduction target indicates that continued energy efficiency programs along with wind additions ranging from 1,500 MW to 2,500 MW would be enough to bring Iowa into compliance by 2030. While more analysis is needed on the impact of this specific proposal, we anticipate it will go a long way towards bringing Alliant into compliance well in advance of the 2030 deadline.

Iowa ended 2015 with 6,212 MW of wind and ranked:

  • #1 in percentage of electricity from wind (31.3% in 2015);

  • #2 in installed capacity of wind (6,212 MW);

  • #2 in land lease payments to landowners that host wind turbines, most or all of whom are rural landowners;

  • #1 in the Midwest for wind jobs

The economic and environmental benefits from wind are clear and compelling in Iowa and this project will extend those benefits to more Iowans. Wind energy provides more than $17 million in land lease payments to landowners annually, supports between 6,000 and 7,000 jobs in Iowa, and is a leading source of property taxes in counties with significant wind development. Wind is also a low cost energy resource and one of Iowa’s leading options for cleaner air.

We look forward to helping advance Alliant Energy’s project and continuing to work to accelerate Iowa’s transition to clean energy.

To learn more about the project announced today visit AlliantEnergy.com/WhisperingWillow

  1. carbon pollution
  2. clean energy
  3. clean power plan
  4. wind power
  5. wind tax credits

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