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MidAmerican Energy Co. has revealed details about its plans to develop 1.05 GW of new wind generation in Iowa by the end of 2015. In August, the Iowa Utilities Board signed off on the projects.

MidAmerican says construction activity is now under way at each of the five project sites, and the company has released information about the developers, turbine supplier, contractors and project size by location.

MidAmerican recently reached an agreement with Highland Wind Energy LLC, an Invenergy Wind LLC company, for the acquisition of the approximate 500 MW Highland wind project site in O'Brien County. Agreements also were reached with EDF Renewable Energy for the acquisition of the approximate 250 MW Lundgren wind project site in Webster County, as well as with two RPM Access LLC companies for the acquisitions of the approximate 138.6 MW Wellsburg wind project site in Grundy County and the approximate 117 MW Macksburg wind project site in Madison County. In addition, MidAmerican Energy's existing Vienna wind farm, constructed in 2012, is being expanded by 44.6 MW in Marshall County (Vienna II wind project).

After the conclusion of a competitive tender process, MidAmerican says it has selected Siemens as the turbine supplier for all project sites. The blades for the expansion will be manufactured at Siemens' Fort Madison, Iowa, facility, while the nacelles will be manufactured at the company’s Hutchinson, Kan., facility. Siemens will provide turbines utilizing technology from its 2.3 MW G2 platform for all five projects. The contract also includes a service, maintenance and warranty agreement.

Minnesota-based Mortenson Construction will build the Highland, Macksburg and Wellsburg wind projects, while North Dakota-based Wanzek Construction Inc. will build  the Lundgren and Vienna II wind projects. MidAmerican expects approximately 1,000 construction jobs to be added to Iowa's economy during the two-year construction period, with about 40 new permanent jobs being added when the expansion is complete.

In addition, MidAmerican says the wind expansion is slated to provide more than $3 million in landowner payments each year and more than $360 million in additional property tax revenues over the next 30 years. The company adds that the expansion will be constructed at no net cost to its customers and will help stabilize electric rates over the long term.


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