Wind power tax credit likely to expire

Photo by ali_pk, Flickr.

A 2-cent per megawatt hour production tax credit (PTC) for wind energy has been excluded from the Payroll Tax bill in congress, creating some uncertainty as to whether the credit will be extended before it expires at year end.

“It looks like we’re not going to succeed, despite a valiant effort, as we see the legislation dealing with these tax extenders very narrowly focused,” said Todd Foley, senior vice president for policy & government relations, American Council on Renewable Energy.

Iowa employs about 2,000 workers in the production of wind turbines and towers, and the loss of the PTC could threaten those jobs. However, MidAmerican Energy’s upcoming 407 megawatt wind complex in Adair, Calhoun and Marshall counties will be completed in time to utilize the tax credit before it expires.

“We’ve done some market analysis and there is a cliff, especially for wind after March,” Foley said. “Our research shows there may be a 52 percent decline because of this uncertainty.”

For more information, read the full article at the Des Moines Register.

Iowa to construct 176 new wind turbines in 2012

A wind farm in Iowa. Photo by jenpilot, Flickr.

Last week MidAmerican Energy Co. announced that it will build 176 new wind turbines in Tama, Marshall, Audubon, Guthrie, and Adair counties this year. The turbines will have a combined generating capacity of 407.1 megawatts.

This addition will boost Iowa’s total wind generation capacity to 4,082 megawatts, maintaining the state’s second place position among the states in wind energy. Iowa is lead only be Texas, with 10,223 megawatts.

The new turbines will also bring MidAmerican’s total wind generating capacity to a total of  2,284 megawatts – the most of any investor-owned utilities in the United States.

“Wind is a viable renewable energy resource that enhances our energy portfolio, providing additional generation at a reasonable cost for our customers,” said Bill Fehrman, president and CEO of MidAmerican Energy. “These projects also fulfill our commitment to Iowa regulators and our customers.”

Depending on electricity use, one megawatt can power between 300 and 800 homes.

For more information, read the full article at the Des Moines Register.

Western Iowa to produce more Wind Energy

A portion of the World's largest windfarm. 259 wind turbines over 200 feet tall located in Cherokee and Buena Vista Counties in Northwestern Iowa. Together they produce 192,750 kW of energy. Photo by Jim Hammer, Wikimedia Commons

Western Iowa will soon get a wind energy boost.

MidAmerican Energy announced today that it will buy 258 turbines for new wind farms in Adair, Adams, Calhoun, Cass and Marshall counties, the Des Moines Register reports.

The turbines will provide electricity to about 1.4 million customers in Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois and South Dakota by 2012.