MidAmerican Energy’s 99-megawatt Victory Wind Project in west central Iowa is on-line. The company now owns and operates 459.5 megawatts of wind energy facilities in Iowa. That makes MidAmerican Energy the owner of more wind energy facilities than any other rate-regulated electric utility in the nation, according to the company.
“We’re pleased to be a leader in wind energy,” said Todd Raba, president of MidAmerican Energy Company. “What’s more gratifying is that we haven’t raised our customers’ electric rates to build wind generation. The last electric rate increase MidAmerican Energy customers experienced was in 1995. We’ve promised not to raise our Iowa electric rates through at least 2010, and we don’t have any increases planned for our customers in Illinois or South Dakota.”
The company’s 66 wind turbines at the Victory Wind Project, located in Carroll and Crawford counties, dot the horizon near the communities of Westside and Arcadia, and have the capability to generate electricity for approximately 40,000 customers.
Construction began last spring following Iowa Utilities Board approval of MidAmerican Energy’s 2006-2007 wind expansion plan. The company began building wind projects in 2004, and completed 310.5-megawatt and 50-megawatt wind projects last year. That was in response to a challenge made in 2003 by Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack to regulators, business professionals and utility companies in Iowa to work toward achieving 1,000 megawatts of renewable energy in Iowa by 2010.
When Gov. Vilsack issued the challenge, 500 megawatts of new renewable energy was needed to achieve the goal. Next year, when MidAmerican completes the 123-megawatt wind project the company is developing near Pomeroy, Iowa, Vilsack’s goal will have been achieved.