BUSINESS REPORT: Iowa — MidAmerican Invests $1.9 Billion In New Capacity
By Shana Daley
From the May/June 2013 issue
MidAmerican Energy Company plans to add up to 1,050 megawatts of wind generation, consisting of up to 656 new wind turbines, in Iowa by year-end 2015.
The wind expansion will enhance economic development and provide in excess of $360 million in additional property tax revenues over the next 30 years. Landowner payments totaling $3.2 million per year also are expected as a result of the expansion. In addition, the expansion is planned to be built at no net cost to the company’s customers and will help stabilize electric rates over the long term by providing a rate reduction totaling $10 million per year by 2017, commencing with a $3.3 million reduction in 2015.
Gov. Terry Branstad, a champion for wind energy in Iowa, commented on the proposal. “As a leader in wind generation, the state of Iowa welcomes the opportunity to expand our renewable energy portfolio. MidAmerican Energy’s proposed project will be the largest economic development investment in the history of the state, bringing needed jobs to Iowa, as well as significant economic benefits.”
Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds reiterated that message. “MidAmerican Energy has been a long-standing partner with the state of Iowa, and we look forward to working with them on this wind proposal. In addition to helping boost our state and local economies, the expansion would create approximately 460 construction jobs over a two-year period and an estimated 48 permanent jobs in our state.”
IOWA FAST FACTS
- Population (2011 Est.): 3,062,309
- Largest Cities (2011): Des Moines, 206,599; Cedar Rapids, 127,905; Davenport, 100,802; Sioux City, 82,967; Iowa City, 68,947
- Targeted Industries: IT, Renewable Energy, Advanced Manufacturing, Food Manufacturing, Bioscience, Financial Services
- Key Incentives: Brownfield/Grayfield Tax Credit, New Jobs Tax Cr., Grow IA Values Fund, Research Activities Tax Cr., Revolving Loan Funds
- GDP (All Industry 2011): $148.9 billion*
*Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce
Greg Abel, chairman, president and CEO of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company—the parent company of MidAmerican Energy—thanked Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds for their unwavering support of renewable energy in Iowa.
“The administration has continued its focus on creating an environment that allows for significant investment in Iowa, and we are pleased to be working hand in hand with them to grow our state and create good jobs,” said Abel.
RIDING THE WIND IN IOWA
- To date, MidAmerican has installed 1,267 wind turbines in Iowa, representing a total investment of about $4 billion.
- The recent extension of the federal tax credit for wind energy production is spurring expansions by major players.
- By January 2016, when all new wind generation is expected to be operating, MidAmerican estimates it will be able to produce approximately 39 percent of its retail power generation output through wind energy generation.
- MidAmerican’s expansion of wind power in Iowa will reduce future rates for its customers by an estimated $10 million per year, while reducing the utility’s carbon footprint by about 10.3 percent. When the expansion is complete, MidAmerican will own and operate 3,335 MW of wind capacity in Iowa.