PNE Wind Energy hopes to add 10 to 20 more wind turbines in Johnson County by 2013, its leader told the county Board of Supervisors.
Supervisors voiced both their ideas and concerns during the hour and fifteen minute session. Board member Janelle Rettig said a project like this needs to create jobs in the community while offering renewable energy.
“We don’t want to face decisions about putting nuclear power plants or coal fire plants in Iowa,” Rettig said. “I hope this can lead to other opportunities as well.”
The board also expressed concerns about who will benefit from the wind energy. Kurtz said all energy produced in Johnson County will stay local and not be pipelined to places like Chicago. But Kurtz also told the board that “going green” won’t necessarily cut down on energy rates.
“We sell the energy to the providers,” he said. The providers ultimately determine the rates.
Iowa’s wind industry reaches more than 80 local business and provides 2,300 manufacturing jobs, according to an Environmental Law and Policy Center report. Over 25,000 wind turbines at 80 sites in Iowa generate over 15 percent of the state’s electricity.