MidAmerican Energy Begins Iowa’s Largest Wind Expansion

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MidAmerican Energy Company announced additional details about the largest wind expansion in Iowa’s history. Earlier this year, the company announced plans to develop up to 1,050MW of additional wind generation in Iowa by the end of 2015. Construction activity is now underway at each of the five project sites, and MidAmerican Energy has released information about the developers, turbine supplier, contractors, and project size by location.

MidAmerican Energy recently reached an agreement with Highland Wind Energy, LLC, an Invenergy Wind LLC company, for the acquisition of the approximate 500MW Highland wind project site in O’Brien County. Agreements also were reached with EDF Renewable Energy for the acquisition of the approximately 250MW Lundgren wind project site in Webster County, and with two RPM Access, LLC companies for the acquisitions of the approximately 138.6MW Wellsburg wind project site in Grundy County and the approximately 117MW Macksburg wind project site in Madison County. In addition, MidAmerican Energy’s existing Vienna wind farm, constructed in 2012, is being expanded by 44.6MW in Marshall County (Vienna II wind project).

MidAmerican Energy has selected Siemens Energy as the turbine supplier for all project sites. All of the blades for the expansion will be manufactured at Siemens’ Fort Madison, Iowa, facility. Nacelles will be manufactured at Siemens’ Hutchinson, Kansas facility. Siemens will provide turbines utilizing technology from its 2.3MW G2 platform for all five projects. The contract also includes a service, maintenance, and warranty agreement.

The Highland, Macksburg and Wellsburg wind projects will be constructed by Mortenson Construction, which is based in Minnesota, while the Lundgren and Vienna II wind projects will be constructed by North Dakota-based Wanzek Construction, Inc..

Upon completion, the projects will encompass 448 wind turbines, and will generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of approximately 317,000 average Iowa households.

“We look forward to continuing positive relationships with state and county officials as well as landowners and other local residents during the construction and operation of the new wind farms,” said Bill Fehrman, president and CEO of MidAmerican Energy. “Not only will the projects bring jobs and other economic development to the state, they will enhance MidAmerican Energy’s renewable energy portfolio—making additional affordable, environmentally responsible energy to benefit our customers.”

The wind expansion will provide more than $3 million in landowner payments each year and more than $360 million in additional property tax revenues over the next 30 years. The expansion will be constructed at no net cost to the company’s customers and will help stabilize electric rates over the long term. Approximately 1,000 construction jobs will be added to Iowa’s economy during the two-year construction period, and approximately 40 new permanent jobs will be added when the expansion is complete.

For more information, visit www.midamericanenergy.com.