Upon completion of its newest proposed wind project, Wind XII, MidAmerican Energy Co. says it will be the first investor-owned electric utility in the country to generate renewable energy equal to 100% of its customers’ usage on an annual basis.
MidAmerican Energy has proposed an additional investment of $922 million with the announcement of its 591 MW Wind XII project, which is being formally filed with the Iowa Utilities Board today. The project, if approved, is expected to be completed in late 2020.
Over the past three years, MidAmerican Energy has moved forward with its previously announced Wind XI and repowering projects, which, when combined with Wind XII, will provide customers with 100% renewable energy on an annual basis. Furthermore, like MidAmerican’s previous wind projects, Wind XII will be built without the need to ask for an increase in customers’ rates, the utility claims.
“Wind XII will transform our 100 percent renewable energy vision from a bold dream into a reality,” says Adam Wright, MidAmerican Energy’s president and CEO. “We are listening and working with our customers to put them first. Wind XII is a clear demonstration of our commitment to and investment in the cleaner, more sustainable energy future our customers want and our environment deserves. We have been able to invest in renewables while, at the same time, keeping electric rates affordable for the long term – creating a one-of-a-kind, win-win solution.”
“Iowans are used to leading the way. We believe to our core that it is our responsibility to use the resources we are given in the best way possible,” states Gov. Kim Reynolds, R-Iowa. “It’s that sustainable approach that has led Iowa to achieve the highest percentage of power generation coming from wind energy, more than any other state. And it doesn’t hurt that we have a company like MidAmerican Energy that has taken the long view and is forward-looking in its goal to provide sustainable and affordable energy to its customers.”
The company estimates Wind XII will create more than 300 full-time jobs related to construction and another 28 full-time positions for ongoing operations and maintenance.
In addition, Wind XII will provide an average $6.9 million per year in additional Iowa property tax payments on wind turbines and nearly $5.6 million more in annual landowner easement payments, the utility estimates. In 2017, MidAmerican Energy paid $19.6 million in Iowa property taxes on wind turbines.
“This is an important step forward for our company, our customers and the state of Iowa,” Wright adds. “In addition to delivering on our promise to customers, we are also helping to make Iowa a more competitive place to do business – ensuring that our economy continues to grow and thrive. This historic moment is something we are proud to share.”
The company is currently exploring potential wind farm sites in Iowa and will announce locations prior to constructing each site.
MidAmerican Energy notes it continue to use its natural gas, nuclear and coal-fueled plants to ensure reliable electric service in times of low wind. The company, based out of Des Moines, Iowa, serves 770,000 electric customers and 751,000 natural gas customers in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and South Dakota.