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Wind turbine project advances  

COUNCIL BLUFFS – MidAmerican Energy is a step closer to building 67 wind turbines in northeastern Pottawattamie County.

The Pottawattamie County Board gave unanimous second-round approval and waived the final reading Wednesday to tax incentives and zoning for the project, to be built near Walnut.

The utility must still get approval from the Iowa Utilities Board, which could come in the next few weeks, according to a MidAmerican spokesman, and would also need building permits and approval of the placement of the units from the Federal Aviation Administration. MidAmerican could build up to 100 turbines in the county.

The ordinance calls for MidAmerican to pay no property taxes on the equipment for the first year and then taxes on 5 percent of the assessed valuation in the second year. The taxable amount would increase by 5 percentage points each subsequent year until it reaches 30 percent, which would be the maximum amount.

Mark Reinders, a spokesman for MidAmerican, said the company is pleased to have the support of the County Board.

Each landowner would receive between $5,000 and $6,000 per turbine per year, under agreements lasting 50 years. County Board member Delbert King said the company would meet with landowners to discuss construction dates.

The project has been in the works for about three years.

The Iowa Utilities Board is expected to make certain regulatory decisions by June 16 concerning the project.

By the end of this year, MidAmerican expects to have more than 780 wind turbines operating in the state, including the proposed turbines in Pottawattamie County. The project could be worth more than $120 million and generate about 100.5 megawatts of electricity.

By: Jason Kuiper, Midlands News Service

gretnabreeze.com

29 May 2008

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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