IEC and ELPC React to Wind XII Project Approval

posted on Wednesday, December 5, 2018 in Energy News

IUB Approval Does Not Address Cost of Coal

Des Moines, Iowa -- The Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) Tuesday voted to approve MidAmerican Energy’s 591 MW Wind XII docket without any requirements to address coal use in Iowa. The Iowa Environmental Council and the Environmental Law & Policy Center called on the IUB to require MidAmerican to remove coal plants from rate base upon the addition of new wind and provide an assessment of coal’s cost effectiveness as part of the wind project’s approval. The environmental groups requested this action to ensure that MidAmerican’s energy generation in Iowa is truly 100% renewable, as the company claims.

In response to the IUB’s approval of the project, IEC’s Energy Program Director Kerri Johannsen stated, “Although our organizations absolutely welcome and support the further investment and development of wind in Iowa and are glad this project will move forward, we continue to have serious concerns about MidAmerican’s unwillingness to look at whether their existing coal fleet is too expensive for customers in a world of cheap renewable options. Other Midwest power companies are recognizing the future that exists for coal and announcing their plans and goals to be 100% coal-free.”

Utilities around the country have begun proposing comprehensive clean energy transition plans, including Xcel Energy in Colorado, Consumers Energy in Michigan, and MidAmerican’s sister Berkshire Hathaway subsidiaries, NV Energy and PacifiCorp.

“It is time for MidAmerican to make a transparent and long-term commitment to 100% clean energy that includes phasing out one of the 20 largest coal fleets in the country,” stated Josh Mandelbaum, Senior Attorney with the Environmental Law & Policy Center. 

MidAmerican owns and operates five coal plants in Iowa with a total of 3,740 MW of nameplate capacity and is majority owner of the 725 MW Ottumwa Generating Station.