Last week, Mid-America Energy Co. announced that they will be investing $1.9 billion investment in wind in Iowa. The project will generate over 1,000 megawatts of power in the state by 2015, create hundreds of direct jobs (and more indirect jobs creating the components for the 656 turbines), and reduce electricity rates for customers of the utility by up to $10 million per year by 2017.
From an editorial supporting the investment in the Sioux City Journal:
Because wind is in inexhaustible supply and some 75 percent of Iowa is considered suitable for wind-energy development with an estimated total resource of 570,000 megawatts of electricity, we haven't scratched the surface of the potential for this industry in our state.
In the larger picture, wind energy is good for America. For the long-term economic, strategic and security interests of the nation, we support a diverse portfolio of energy options, including oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear and renewable sources such as wind and biofuels like biodiesel and ethanol. It makes no sense for the country to put all of its energy eggs into one or two baskets, so to speak. For those reasons, the decision by Congress in January to extend tax credits for the wind and biofuels industries was money well spent.
As the importance of renewable energy grows, Iowa's importance as a leader in the field (Iowa also ranks first for ethanol production and third for biodiesel production) grows.
That's something all of us who live and work in this state should be excited about.
Around the country, states, cities, and even private companies are taking the move to a clean energy economy seriously. Congress must do that as well. With the right policies and investments, we could be seeing projects like this all over the country — providing renewable energy, good jobs for workers, and dramatically reducing the carbon pollution that is causing climate change.
America is ready for leadership in clean energy. We’re ready for good, family-supporting jobs. We’re ready for cleaner air. Now, we need to push Congress to get ready as well.