Mahaska County supervisors consider tax abatement for construction of wind farm


Nick Fetty | July 8, 2014
Wind turbines along Interstate 35 in Iowa. Photo by Brian Hoffman; Flickr
Wind turbines along Interstate 35 in Iowa.
Photo by Brian Hoffman; Flickr

During a meeting Monday, the Mahaska County Board of Supervisors discussed offering a tax abatement for a wind farm that RPM Access LLC hopes to build in Mahaska County.

The proposed abatement would reduce the level of taxation placed on RPM Access and Supervisor Mike Vander Molen said this abatement is necessary to make the project feasible. The $290 million project will be dependent upon all landowners involved in the proposal agreeing to sell their land and is expected to bring $60 million into the county over a 30-year span.

Per Iowa Code, the Board of Supervisors must wait 30 days before an ordinance can be adopted. This topic will be revisited during the board meeting on August 18. Construction on the wind farm may begin as early as 2016 and is expected to take about seven months to complete.

RPM Access has 13 projects in Iowa and one in Kansas. The De Soto-based company is also working with Facebook and Google on upcoming operations coming to the Hawkeye State.

German energy company to move North American headquarters to Iowa


Photo via Theodore Scott; Flickr
Photo via Theodore Scott; Flickr
Nick Fetty | May 29, 2014

Alternative energy opportunities available in Iowa have attracted yet another company to set up shop in the Hawkeye State, according to an article in the Des Moines Register.

Windtest – a German energy company – announced Wednesday that it plans to build its North American headquarters in the northern Iowa town of Estherville. The operation is expected to be completed by late August of this year and will initially create five jobs with hopes that the number will double in the coming years. This project will be in collaboration with Iowa Lakes Community College and will be housed in the Sustainable Energy Resource Technology building on campus.

Windtest is just the latest company to announce plans for an Iowa operation. Last year, Google announced that it plans to expand its data center in Council Bluffs while Facebook is pursuing plans to a construct a data center in the Des Moines suburb of Altoona. Microsoft also plans to build a data center in West Des Moines.

The abundance of wind power and other alternative energy sources have helped to attract these companies which will bring millions of dollars and dozens of jobs to Iowa’s economy. According to the American Wind Industry Association, Iowa is number one in the nation for percentage of electricity generated by wind energy (27.4%) and is third – behind Texas and California – in the amount of wind energy produced.

On the Radio: New Facebook Data Center


Photo by user vanhookc; Flickr

 

This week’s On the Radio segment covers the new Facebook data center that will be opening in Altoona, and their wind energy plan. Listen to the audio below, or continue reading for the transcript.

Continue reading

Iowa DNR to have live Q&A


Iowans with questions about the state’s water quality – from drinking water to recreation – can have those questions answered live on Facebook Jan. 14.

DNR staff will answer questions live from noon to 2:30 p.m. To ask a question, post it as a comment on the “Live Q&A” post that the DNR will post at noon that day. You can also post questions ahead of time on the DNR’s Facebook Timeline at www.facebook.com/iowadnr. Questions received after 2:30 will be answered, but at a later time.

DNR staff available for questions during the live water quality Q&A include:

  • Bill Ehm, head of the DNR’s Environmental Services Division
  • Shelli Grapp, Water Quality bureau chief
  • John Olson, senior environmental specialist