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New Wind Report Highlights Iowa's Ability to Easily Meet Clean Power Plan Goals


Des Moines, IA – The Iowa Wind Energy Association (IWEA) released a new report today, titled “Iowa’s Wind Potential for Addressing 111(d) Goals: The Potential for Tapping Iowa’s Wind Resources to Reduce C02 Emissions,” that analyzes Iowa’s current wind energy production and forecasts the state’s future wind energy capacity. As a national leader in wind energy, Iowa already is on track to achieve its proposed carbon reduction goals in the Clean Power Plan, and also is well-positioned to help other states achieve their goals in a way that benefits Iowa’s economy and job market. 

The report, co-authored by wind industry experts Dan Turner, Ph.D. and Thomas A. Wind, P.E., evaluates data and resources of the Iowa wind industry for the period 2015 to 2030. 

Key findings of the report include the fact that, given the wind already being built in Iowa, it is estimated Iowa could reach its proposed 16 percent carbon reduction goal by building a modest amount of wind and taking no other actions. Iowa has added 1,000 MW or more of wind per year in recent years, and has the technical potential to build more than 570,000 MW of wind. Even if Iowa’s carbon reduction target was 30 percent instead of 16 percent, Iowa could meet the goal by building wind energy alone and taking no further action.

“This report shows that Iowa’s visionary policies and leadership for expanding wind power have put Iowa in a position to lead the nation in attaining the goals for the Clean Power Plan,” said Mike Prior, Executive Director of the Iowa Wind Energy Association. “Additional Iowa wind power can be used by other Midwestern states to meet their Clean Power Plan Goals, and among the benefits Iowa receives are increased Iowa jobs, landowner payments and property tax revenue, in addition to a cleaner environment.”

Iowa can help other states achieve carbon reduction goals by transmitting wind energy generated in Iowa, or utilizing Iowa wind manufacturers and wind-related businesses to build facilities within the borders of other states. Iowa wind energy’s ability to help other states achieve carbon reduction goals will have a ripple effect of economic benefits to not only Iowa utility providers, but also Iowa supply chain and manufacturing businesses that support the wind industry across the country.

The report finds that wind energy provides benefits to Iowa’s economy and consumers. As an industry that already employs more than 6,000 people in the state, it is estimated that capital investment from wind development in Iowa will total more than $10 billion by the end of 2015. For consumers, wind energy has stable and low-levelized costs. External factors not reflected in consumers’ bill (such as fluctuating gas prices) can go up and raise consumer rates, but wind energy costs remain stable. Wind energy benefits rural Iowa through land leases and property value. Currently, landowners receive more than $16 million annually in lease payments and total assessed value of property for wind turbines is estimated to be more than $2.6 billion.

“A modern Iowa wind farm can be the single largest tax paying entity in a county,” said Kirk Kraft, Project Development with RPM Access. “Property taxes paid by the wind farm support all the regular county needs while consuming very little in county services. A single utility scale wind turbine can easily pay as much in taxes as 1000 acres of farm ground.”

The report was unveiled at a news conference at Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC), which has a Wind Turbine Technician program that is preparing a highly-skilled workforce to fill the increasing demand for “green-collar” jobs to help make Iowa the clean energy capital of the nation.

"Iowa holds an enviable position in the global wind energy space and needs to be aggressive in its development and promotion,” said DMACC President Rob Denson. “Partnering with industry to tell the story of its great jobs, community colleges can attract and train the next generation of highly-skilled workers."

To view the full report and the executive summary, visit www.IowaWindEnergy.org.