by Phil Prazan
$1.9 Billion will be spread across the Iowa countryside. Construction on more than 650 MidAmerican wind turbines will begin this fall.
More than 1,200 wind turbines already sprout out of Iowa's farmlands. Adding 656 more shows Iowa's energy future is in wind. According to MidAmerican Energy, by 2016, 39% of Iowa energy will be through wind generation.
The Governor's Office and MidAmerican President Bill Fehrman announced the news from the statehouse. Iowa is not giving any financial support or tax credits to the project. But a major attraction was the extended federal wind energy tax credit.
U.S. Congressmen gave that program at least one more year, but it could be the victim of budget cuts in 2014, forcing this plan to become reality ASAP.
This is the third major capital investment announcement this spring in Iowa.
Facebook and Google both have plans for major technical centers. Those are projects the Governor's Office says were made possible because of these new wind turbines. Gov. Branstad said Facebook likes to say their facilities are powered by renewable energy.
"We don't produce oil or coal, but we are a leader in renewable. Both in ethanol/bio-diesel and wind energy," says Gov. Terry Branstad.
"Iowa is cutting edge. Iowa is innovative and Iowa is a great place to do business," says Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds.