DES MOINES, Iowa – Hundreds of new MidAmerican Energy wind turbines will be sprouting up in five Iowa counties soon as part of a $1.9 billion project that will generate up to 1,050 megawatts of power in Iowa by 2015, Gov. Terry Branstad said Monday.
The 448 turbines will be erected at locations in Grundy, Madison, Marshall, O’Brien and Webster counties, with construction of the wind farms slated to begin next month, the governor told his weekly news conference.
Branstad said the project – the largest economic development investment in state history – will create about 460 construction jobs over two years with an estimated payroll of $30 million and 48 permanent jobs with a $2.4 million payment, and an overall economic impact for Iowa that includes about $360 million in additional property tax revenue for local governments over the next 30 years, as well as payments of up to $3.2 million annually to farmers for the use of their land.
“We’re excited about that,” Branstad said. “This is a huge project and obviously it’s a win-win for everybody: for the environment, for the farmers, for the customers and for the people who get jobs in the construction and eventually in overseeing the maintenance of the wind farms.”
That’s because the project, which MidAmerican said would start late this year and is scheduled to be completed in 2015, will create 460 construction jobs over a two-year period with an estimated payroll of $30 million, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds said, and an estimated 48 permanent jobs in Iowa with a $2.4 million payroll.
Since 2004, MidAmerican has installed 1,267 wind turbines in Iowa representing a total investment of about $4 billion.
With the project’s approval last Friday by the Iowa Utilities Board, MidAmerican Energy is on track to own and operate about 3,335 megawatts of wind generation capacity in Iowa by the end of 2015. The company currently owns and operates about 2,285 megawatts of wind generation capacity in Iowa.
MidAmerican Energy Company, Iowa’s largest energy company, provides electric service to 734,000 customers and natural gas service to 714,000 customers in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and South Dakota. It is headquartered in Des Moines.