Wind XII hearing raises questions about MidAmerican's continued reliance on coal

posted on Monday, October 29, 2018 in Energy News

DES MOINES - The Environmental Law and Policy Center and the Iowa Environmental Council filed a post-hearing brief today in the Wind XII docket at the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB). Both organizations have intervened in the docket to ensure that MidAmerican is on the path of a comprehensive clean energy transition. MidAmerican owns and operates five coal plants that generate more than 3700 MW in Iowa, placing it in the top 20 largest coal fleets in the U.S. even as the company claims to be serving its customers with 100% renewable energy.

MidAmerican cannot achieve a comprehensive clean energy vision without retirements of its coal plants, and MidAmerican’s current 100% renewable vision leaves one of the country’s largest coal fleets intact.

In testimony previously filed with the IUB related to the docket, the Iowa Environmental Council and Environmental Law and Policy Center called for approval of the additional wind project to include requirements for equivalent coal capacity retirements and recommended MidAmerican outline a process for a comprehensive clean energy transition that includes wind, solar, storage and demand side resources such as energy efficiency and demand response.

“For a 100% renewable vision to be legitimate, it must include development of diverse clean energy resources and phasing out of coal,” said Kerri Johannsen, Energy Program Director at the Iowa Environmental Council. “MidAmerican has no such plan in place even as other Midwestern utilities are announcing retirement of expensive and risky coal plants almost every week.”

“We applaud investment in wind energy,” said Josh Mandelbaum, Senior Attorney at the Environmental Law & Policy Center. “If Iowa wants to maintain it’s clean energy leadership, our investment in renewables will need to lead to retirement of coal plants. This case is about ensuring that the environmental benefits that come from additional renewable development actually materialize and result in a path for closing uneconomic coal plants.”

The Wind XII docket relates to MidAmerican’s latest 591 MW, $922 million wind project that would be completed by late 2020.


  1. carbon pollution
  2. clean energy
  3. wind power