Massive wind harvesting project to go up in Iowa

Wind power
Credit: Leaflet/Wikipedia/CC BY-SA 3.0

(Tech Xplore)—MidAmerican Energy has announced that the State of Iowa's Utility Board has approved plans for installation of its 2 GW Wind XI project, the largest ever undertaken in the U.S.. The project will involve installing 1,000 wind turbines over a two-year period in various sites throughout Iowa to provide electricity to approximately 800,000 consumers.

Unique to the project is a promise made by Des Moines-based MidAmerican that the installation costs of the turbines will not affect consumer energy bills, nor will the state be asked to pay for them—instead, MidAmerican will be footing the $3.6 billion cost itself. It is a utility company offering electricity and natural gas to customers in Nebraska, South Dakota, Illinois and of course, Iowa. The company has set a goal of getting the state off coal completely and expects this new project to advance that goal—they project that once the project is fully operational, and other projects go forward as well, fully 85 percent of the electricity used in Iowa will come from wind powered turbines by 2020.

Iowa is currently the state with the second-largest production of wind-powered electricity (generating 15 MWh) behind only Texas, which generates 36 MWh. In Iowa, that accounts for a leading 31.3 percent of all electricity consumed. The Energy Information Administration recently announced that approximately 80 percent of in the U.S. is produced in just 12 states. But that is likely to change soon because of the maturation of wind power technology and the rise of companies that produce the necessary equipment. As reps for MidAmerican note in their announcement, has proven to be easier to scale than other renewable resources such as solar, geothermal or hydro. Turbines have grown increasingly larger, as have incentives for people who live in places like Iowa where there are great stretches of farmland—farmers get paid monthly to have turbines installed and run on their land.

The project will take place over the next three years, though it is not clear just yet where the turbines will actually be installed. Once underway, it will be the largest economic project in the state's history—one that MidAmerican is promising will not only reduce carbon emissions by phasing out coal plants, but one that will protect consumers from rising .


Explore further

Professor imagines 'free trade' on energy and environmental issues

More information: www.midamericanenergy.com/

© 2016 Tech Xplore

Citation: Massive wind harvesting project to go up in Iowa (2016, September 2) retrieved 25 August 2019 from https://techxplore.com/news/2016-09-massive-harvesting-iowa.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
71 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Sep 02, 2016
Spot the orders of magnitude error!

Sep 02, 2016
"....... fully 85 percent of the electricity used in Iowa will come from wind powered turbines by 2020."

How is that possible if the wind does not blow 100% of the time no matter how many turbines are built?


Sep 02, 2016
Looks like real progress to me.

Show me a time when no wind is blowing in the state. Do you think they did not do rigorous tests before the announcement or even the plans?

Sep 02, 2016
"nor will the state be asked to pay for them"


But the federal government is still paying PTC and accelerated depreciation. They're in a hurry now because the PTC subsidy is about to be reduced - hence the huge size of the project: get as much turbines as possible on the subsidy.

"Show me a time when no wind is blowing in the state."


At less than 6 m/s (14mph) the turbines are producing practically zero electricity. Full output occurs above 12 m/s (28mph). Between those points the power output is non-linear and proportional to the cube of wind speed, so most of the time the turbines are producing closer to 0% than to 100%

"Do you think they did not do rigorous tests before the announcement or even the plans?"


They're planning on using the virtual battery, or exporting and importing across state lines to balance the output. That means the consumption share figures are virtual as well - the 85% will happen only on paper.

Sep 02, 2016
Yes, progress is SCARY. Are you in some field which is SCARED of progress?
Which is that field?

Do you really think all the negatives have not been thought out? This is not like European engineers who have to worry about international agreements to send power anywhere, it is here, where we can do it. And we do. In Europe where the governments make the decisions, they can put in a system with no guaranteed and quick result, but companies cannot, so the power is "sold" before the units are even built.

Sep 02, 2016
"Do you really think all the negatives have not been thought out?"


No. I'm sure they're perfectly aware of what they're doing, and they're doing it because it gets them federal subsidies and green credits to sell, so it's a net positive to the utility/state at the detriment of the rest of the American taxpayers.

These are business decision, not utilitarian or environmental decisions. In the words of Warren Buffett: without the tax breaks, it just wouldn't make sense.

Sep 02, 2016
"In Europe where the governments make the decisions, they can put in a system with no guaranteed and quick result, but companies cannot, so the power is "sold" before the units are even built."


It's the same multinational corporations that make and install the wind turbines in the US and in Europe. You've absolutely no idea what you're talking about - governments provide the subsidies and private business puts up the turbines in exactly the same manner.

Speaking of which, a great deal of the subsidies paid for renewable energy is flowing abroad because of these multinationals such as Vestas, which imports the turbines and exports the money.

Sep 02, 2016
Buffett looks at the world through dollar signs, and for his requirements for payback it does not make as much money as other investments.

Meanwhile, I generate my own electricity. And it powers my car. It has more to do with being a good citizen than making me rich in money. Yes, I am grid-connected, so I "store" or bank my power in it, producing in the daytime, and using most of it at night.

Sep 02, 2016
"Buffett looks at the world through dollar signs, and for his requirements for payback it does not make as much money as other investments."


No, it makes exactly enough. Warren Buffett invests in renewable energy precisely because it minimizes his businesses' tax burden, and many many others do the same. Without the subsidies, none of them would and there would be barely any wind/solar power around.

"so the power is "sold" before the units are even built."


Except it isn't. The subsidies are paid per actual kWh generated, so utilities in places like Texas are already giving power away for free to regular customers at nights to shift consumption patterns, so the utility can keep collecting the subsidies. Problem being that the winds there pick up more at night than day and there's not enough "virtual battery" because the night-time demand is low in the neighboring states as well.

Sep 02, 2016
"""""Meanwhile, I generate my own electricity. And it powers my car. It has more to do with being a good citizen than making me rich in money.""""

https://www.youtu...a8QgGGkc

Sep 02, 2016
Some things are done because they are the right things to do. Your need for proof of economy misses the bigger point.

Sep 03, 2016
Onions I have yet to see one of these sites that clam massive fossil subsidies actually show a detail of what the actual subsidies consist of. They claim Billions but fail to show any real proof of unfair tax deductions or actual government subsidies.

Sep 03, 2016
http://www.cnn.co...dex.html

Here you are.

When the greedy drillers cause another New Madrid quake you are all gone.

Sep 03, 2016
Check this out:

http://www.kleinm...ed-risks

Many of us have warned and warned the nukers and their friends about this.

Sep 03, 2016
Well Onions I got as far as your first article and nearly puked! So let me get this correct, Iran chooses to purchase oil products from it's producers and sell these products to it's population at a $40 Billion discount and that is considered to be an "Oil Subsidy" rather than welfare, right.
Whereas, the cost of renewables and green energy saving devices are added directly to the customers electric bill. Here in Connecticut the price of LED and Florescent lighting devices are directly subsidized by the power companies and added onto MY electric bill.

Sep 03, 2016
Let's that that line of thinking just one step farther. Food Stamps are a subsidy to farmers, Legal aid is a subsidy to lawyers, low income housing is a subsidy to developers and welfare is a subsidy to everyone who is not on it!!!!

Sep 03, 2016
It is working. Power from renewables, those which produce no waste and require no purchased fuel, is increasing, and many of us have already transformed our lives accordingly.

Get into the 21st Century.

Sep 03, 2016
Requiem aeternam dona aves, Domine.
Et lux perpetua luceat eis.
Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine
Et lux perpetua eis.

Sep 04, 2016
Requiem aeternam dona aves, Domine.
Et lux perpetua luceat eis.
Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine
Et lux perpetua eis.


And thus, someone said something barely anyone could understand for the sake of.....
....of what? Is that some random Latin's prophecy from 200 AC glorifying the power of Wind? Or light?
Or people enjoying being unclear? Glory to all of this?

Sep 04, 2016
Wind subsidies are 2.5 cents/KWH or about 1/2 of wholesale electric rates. That is one huge subsidy! I have no problem with the more indirect subsidies like tax free bonds, lower real estate taxes or accelerated depreciation since these devices are broadly used to encourage business in general and large scale development.

Sep 04, 2016
"Thank you for admitting what a huge hypocrite you are."

Onions you are just highlighting the fact that you cannot comprehend the economic difference between a tax incentive and an outright government subsidy.

Sep 05, 2016
Spot the orders of magnitude error!

you must be referring to where the article states that 15 MW is 31.35 of the electricity consumed in Iowa. That simply cannot be true. Current wind generation must be greater than that if an additional 2 GW will take it to 85% of consumption.

Sep 07, 2016
So there power bills will go up 5 Times?
The cost of wind turbines for one house is about $80,000, with "no Batteries"
Has any one done a full costing per house with batteries?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more