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No sites revealed for $3.6B wind turbine project

By Staff | Apr 21, 2016

DES MOINES (AP) – Des Moines-based MidAmerican Energy Company announced plans Thursday to spend $3.6 billion on a wind turbine operation that would generate enough energy to power about 800,000 Iowa homes – an effort officials called the largest economic development project in state history.

Bill Fehrman, the utility’s CEO and president, announced the company’s 11th wind project at an event on the Iowa State Fair Grounds attended by Gov. Terry Branstad and other state officials.

Branstad thanked company leaders for their unprecedented investment, calling the project a “major milestone” in Iowa’s rapidly-growing wind energy industry.

“Once the project is complete, the state will be on track as the very first state in the nation to generate more than 40 percent of our energy from wind power,” he said.

The utility will create wind energy that equals 85 percent of its annual customer sales in Iowa with the completion of the project, according to Fehrman. MidAmerican is the state’s largest utility.

“Our company has a very bold dream and that dream is to someday deliver 100 percent renewable energy to our customers,” he said.

Company officials didn’t release where the roughly 1,000 turbines would be built but said the utility will finalize locations while the Iowa Utilities Board considers the project. Fehrman hopes to have the project approved by mid-September, which would put them on track to adding 2,000 megawatts of wind energy in the state by 2020.

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