One of the first goals in establishing wind energy in Iowa County has been accomplished, according to a provider that hopes to make the area the latest hub in alternative energy production.
Mark Zaccone, contractor for business development for Invenergy, noted the company has completed getting 4,000 acres under easement, which would be used for construction of wind turbines, he told Iowa County supervisors at the Friday, Feb. 19, meeting. He said that, from what he was told by the leasing group, the land was acquired “pretty easily.”
“Our group is being very well received and at this point they’re starting to get people to come in and talk to us before we have a chance to see them. At this point, they’re supportive of what we’re doing,” said Zaccone.
With the land in hand, a transmission study will be kicked off and meteorological towers, temporary towers about 200 feet high used to collect wind data will be placed on several properties.
In the meantime, a meteorological tower will be placed on properties. They are temporary, just under 200 feet, and collect wind data. The first piece of that process, he said, the engineers pick the location and about four landowners who are willing to have them placed. Those should be in place by summer.
Since his initial visit with supervisors, county officials have had positive feedback, noted supervisor John Gahring.
Zaccone, of Chicago-based Invenergy, first approached the supervisors in December about his project, about 250 megawatts and involve about 125 turbines, all located roughly along MidAmerican Energy’s 345 kilovolt line that runs in southern Iowa County. Roughly, the area is Dayton, English, Lincoln and Pilot townships, bordered by 230th and 320th streets to the north and south, and C and M avenues to the west and east. Zaccone is based out of an office in Harlan.
During his initial visit in December, Zaccone said the project would bring about $1 million in annual revenue to landowners who lease their property to Invenergy and about $500,000 in annual tax revenue to the county.
According to its website, Invenergy specializes in wind, solar, and natural gas-fueled power generation and energy storage facilities in North America, and is among the six largest owners of wind generation plants in the United States. The company has a 50-turnbine project underway in Carroll County in western Iowa, and projects in Adair, Ida and O’Brien counties in western and northwestern Iowa.
If Invenergy’s project gets off the ground, it would be about three to six years from conception to completion, with the median being about four years, he said.