Ken Hach of Alta, a longtime Buena Vista County supervisor and wind energy pioneer, died Sunday night at 10:50 p.m. after a battle with dementia. He was 77.
“The skyline flashes because of you,” his son Rob Hach said in a 14-second video of a wind farm blinking on the horizon taken later that night.
Upon the reception of the Special Achievement Award at the American Wind Energy Association conference in 2018, Ken was quoted as saying that he wanted to do something about the energy crisis “because the government isn’t going to fix this.” That was in 1977.
Ken started selling and installing wind turbines in the 1970s and 80s to farmers and ranchers. In 1982, he created the Iowa Wind Energy Association, which lobbied then-freshman-Gov. Terry Branstad to pass regulations that would require the investor-owned utilities to purchase 150 MW of their energy from wind turbine electric generators.
It was one of the first renewable portfolio standards to be passed in the U.S.
Over his lifetime, he was responsible for more than 1,000 MW of wind generation installations and the development of more than 10,000 MW of prospective projects.
He formed the transmission distribution company “Wind on the Rails” to connect the wind-rich territories of Iowa with the electrical systems of the east. Ken envisioned a world that was powered by renewable energy.
Buena Vista County Supervisor Ken Hach, R-Alta, served in that position eight years, from 2006-2014.
Funeral services will be held at Summit Church in Alta on Saturday, April 17. Visitiation is from 1-3 p.m. with funeral services to follow.
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