Alliant Energy plans to spend up to $440 million to develop a wind turbine electricity-generating operation in the Hampton area in north-central Iowa.
The wind farm could produce up to 200 megawatts of electricity by 2010, enough to power 50,000 homes, the company said Friday.
The project is the latest in a string of wind energy developments in Iowa, including wind turbine farms and the manufacture of wind turbine equipment.
“We are blessed with wind in Iowa,” Gov. Chet Culver said at a news conference announcing the project.
Tom Aller, president of Alliant’s Cedar Rapids division, said the wind generation is critical to the utility’s long-term generation-growth strategy.
Culver praised the project as another step toward making Iowa the renewable energy capital of the nation.
Other recent developments include plans announced last month by TPI Composites of Warren, R.I., to establish a 500-employee factory in Newton to manufacture wind turbine blades.
Alliant said the wind development site is being purchased from Missouri-based Wind Capital Group, a wind energy development company that had acquired leases and conducted feasibility studies for the project.
The purchase price wasn’t disclosed.
Alliant approached Wind Capital about buying the site, said Ryan Stensland, an Alliant spokesman. The purchase includes the leases and studies, Stensland said.
The project would include about 130 towers on 130 locations owned by about 80 landowners.
Kim Zuhlke, an Alliant vice president, said towers are usually built on leased 0.1-acre sites in farm fields. Farmers are able to continue farming around the towers.
Iowa has about 30 wind farms in operation, with another five under construction, according to the American Wind Energy Association in Washington, D.C.
About 5.2 percent of the state’s electricity is produced by wind, said Shawn Rolland, a spokesman for the Iowa Department of Economic Development.
Alliant gets about 255 megawatts of electricity from wind, about 4 percent of its total generating capacity.
By William Ryberg
Register Business Writer
8 December 2007
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