Gov. Terry Branstad, R-Iowa, and other state officials will join the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) in promoting wind power this week in Ames, Iowa, to coincide with this weekend's straw poll for the Republican presidential race.
‘With Iowa standing tall as the first state to produce 20 percent of its electricity with wind power, the straw poll is a terrific opportunity to share the power of wind to support local economies as well as generate clean energy,’ says Denise Bode, CEO of AWEA.
According to a recent poll by GOP pollster Neil Newhouse, 81% percent of Iowa voters believe that the growth of the wind industry has been good for the state's economy. Furthermore, Iowa voters chose wind, by a 3-to-1 margin, as their preferred energy source to power their state.
Over 200 wind-related businesses now operate in 56 Iowa counties, adding over $5 billion to the Iowa economy. In 2010 alone, wind farm owners paid $16.5 million in property taxes and an additional $11 million in land lease payments to property owners, according to AWEA.
Branstad, who in his first year as governor in 1983 signed the nation's first renewable energy standard, will speak on Friday evening at a reception being held from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Branstad was elected governor of Iowa for a second time in January.