Hawkeyes on the Prize
Iowa will soon be home to the world’s largest land-based wind farm if MidAmerican Energy Company has its way. The power company plans to erect between 180 and 200 turbines capable of generating 310 megawatts of electricity and powering some 85,000 homes. If approved by the Iowa Public Utilities Board and state lawmakers, the $323 million project would be completed in 2006 and would surpass a 300-megawatt project on the Oregon-California border. The project would place Iowa third in the nation for wind-generated power, behind Texas and California; all told, the U.S. had a total wind-generation capacity of 4,700 megawatts by the end of last year. Gov. Tom Vilsack (D) backs the Iowa project, saying it would support his goal of increasing renewable energy sources and creating jobs. It would also help farmers, who would get $4,000 per year for each turbine located on their property.