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New wind farm announced for western Iowa

WALNUT, Iowa – An Iowa electric company said Monday it sees the fields of Iowa as an opportunity to make power.

A wind farm in Pottawattamie County would put 67 massive turbines in the northeast part of the county. The farm is just part of a larger strategy by Iowa’s MidAmerican Energy to harness the power of wind.

Delbert King, the chairman of the Pottawattamie County Board of Supervisors, said the board will soon pass a resolution giving MidAmerican a tax break for the first year on the project, then increase taxes each year thereafter.

MidAmerican said the area chosen near Walnut is prime for wind harvesting.

“They’ve done a lot of tests to make sure this works out or not. In some cases, you think you have a lot of wind, but you ain’t got the proper wind,” King said.

A similar farm is functioning near Rockport, Mo.

“It won’t be long before these farm fields spring up something a little bit different. The construction of the four first wind turbines is expected to begin in June,” King said. “It’s free. We’re not pumping water, building big dams and turbines, and we’re not burning coal.”

The power produced will be fed directly into the power lines in the area, and the power will feed homes across the state.

Each turbine is expected to cost just over $3 million. MidAmerican said it expects to produce nearly a fifth of all their energy from renewable sources, such as wind power, by the end of 2008.

This farm is planned to be smaller than others in Iowa. The company just started gaining energy from a group of 142 turbines in north central Iowa.

KCCI Des Moines

19 May 2008