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Alliant plans to build big wind farm  

Alliant Energy plans to buy and develop a wind energy farm that could become the largest in Iowa, producing up to 200 megawatts of electricity.

Key parts of the farm’s wind turbines would be assembled at a factory in Cedar Rapids, according to the announcement April 25 by a Cedar Rapids-based division of Alliant.

Alliant’s plan is the second major Iowa wind energy project to be announced this month.

Des Moines-based MidAmerican Energy announced in mid-April, that it would add up to 540 megawatts of wind-generating capacity at undetermined sites, nearly doubling its wind-energy output.

About 950 wind turbines now generate 936 megawatts of electricity in Iowa, about 5 percent of the state’s total, according to the American Wind Energy Association and the Iowa Utilities Board.

Alliant said it’s negotiating with California-based Clipper Windpower Inc. to purchase Clipper’s Eclipse Wind Farm under development in southern Audubon and Guthrie counties near Adair.

Construction of wind turbines to produce 100 megawatts of electricity is expected to begin in 2009, with commercial operation anticipated later that year.

The farm would become Iowa’s largest single wind energy project if its built to its full capacity of 200 megawatts, an Alliant statement said.

The project is subject to approval by the utilities board.

Alliant plans to use Clipper’s Liberty-series wind turbine generators, the largest built in the United States, the utility said. Each turbine can produce up to 2.5 megawatts of electricity.

Key mechanical components are assembled at Clipper’s plant in Cedar Rapids.


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