MidAmerican Energy Company plans to bring 73 more wind turbines online, six of which are set for construction at the Pomeroy Wind Project. The remaining 67 turbines are to be installed near Walnut in Pottawattamie County.
At the Pomeroy Wind Project, construction is expected to begin in late August and should be finished by early September, said Ann Thelen, MidAmerican Energy director of media relations. With the addition of these turbines, the total number near Pomeroy would reach 171.
The new turbines will most likely be placed near the southern part of the development, according to Mark Reinders, MidAmerican Energy spokesman.
With the start of another wind project, Iowa seeks to maintain its leadership in the wind energy industry, said Gov. Chet Culver in an announcement Monday.
This project, labeled the ‘‘Wind V Iowa Project’’ by the Iowa Utilities Board, was approved Monday.
After the completion of this project, MidAmerican will have 800 wind turbines online and the generation capacity of these turbines will total 1,231.8 megawatts, enough to power approximately 425,000 homes.
“This expansion of wind generation by MidAmerican Energy is great news for Iowa,” Culver said. “Iowa is positioned well to become the renewable energy capital of the nation, and Iowans should be proud to see companies like MidAmerican continue to step forward on a voluntary basis to help the state maintain its leadership role in renewable energy production.î
Not only will this help Iowa maintain its leadership in the wind industry, it will also help MidAmerican maintain its national ranking and leadership in the wind industry among regulated utilities, Reinders said.
MidAmerican began building wind projects in 2004 and has continued to do so without adversely affecting its customers’ electric rates. The price of electricity per kilowatt-hour in Iowa for MidAmerican customers is currently lower than it was in 1995, he said.
Bill Fehrman, president of MidAmerican Energy, said that the expansion project will provide an economic boost for the area during and after the seven-month production period.
“There are numerous economic benefits on projects like these, including the capital investment by MidAmerican, construction jobs, long-term maintenance jobs, annual lease payments to farmers and long-term property tax revenues,” Fehrman said.
Susan Juilfs, a member of the City Council of Pomeroy, expressed doubts about the economic impact of the additional turbines at the site.
“As far as I know, it’s a completion of a project started last year. I don’t know that it will have a further impact,” Juilfs said.
MidAmerican Energy seeks not only to expand its production of renewable energy but to decrease its impact on the environment as well.
Between 2004 and 2009, MidAmerican plans to spend approximately $400 million on upgrades at its power plants to reduce emissions. At the company’s coal plants, there will be a 44 percent reduction of emissions in nitrogen oxides, a 38 percent reduction in emissions of sulfur dioxide and a 35 percent reduction of mercury emissions.
By Trevor Seela
Messenger Staff Writer
18 June 2008
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