A contested wind farm proposal in Iowa has been approved by the Iowa Public Utilities Commission.
MidAmerican Energy's proposal to build 1,001 MW of wind capacity was approved by the Iowa Utilities Board, despite objections from state rival NextEra.
Together, MidAmerican and NextEra control about 70% of Iowa's wind capacity. MidAmerican has approximately 1,400 MW of wind online, while NextEra has about 800 MW.
MidAmerican's request took rival NextEra by surprise. ‘We were struck by the boldness of the plan,’ says Steve Stengel, spokesperson at NextEra, a Juno, Fla.-based subsidiary of FPL Group told NAW in October. ‘They are essentially seeking permission to build 1,001 MW, but they didn't identify any sites where they planned to build those potential projects. This was done with very little due diligence in terms of cost and wind analysis.’
The crux of Stengel's argument stems from the fact that MidAmerican is asking state regulators to approve a plan that would have ratepayers pay for what otherwise would be a largely stockholder-backed venture.
SOURCE: Des Moines Register