Report: Iowa wind power on track to meet federal energy goals


Map of utility-scale wind generation in and around Iowa. (Iowa Wind Energy Association)
Map of utility-scale wind generation in and around Iowa. (Iowa Wind Energy Association)

Nick Fetty | May 5, 2015

Iowa’s wind energy sector has the state on track to meet and likely exceed federal energy goals over the next fifteen years, according to a report released Monday by the Iowa Wind Energy Association.

Last June, the Environmental Protection Agency unveiled its Clean Power Plan which calls for a nationwide reduction in carbon pollution from power plants. Monday’s report suggest that once Iowa reaches its goal it will be able to assist other states in reducing carbon emissions 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.

“Given the local economic and the wider environmental impacts, the continued expansion of wind power on a large scale in Iowa appears to be extremely beneficial, to the state, the region, and the planet,” the authors concluded in the report. 

Iowa has invested roughly $10 billion in wind energy since 2003 and currently leads the nation in percentage of electricity generated from wind energy at 28.5 percent. However there is still room for improvement as 59 percent of Iowa’s electricity in 2013 came from coal power.

This report comes on the heels of an announcement last week by MidAmerican Energy for a $900 million, 552 MW expansion of wind energy in the Hawkeye State. Officials have not a released a location for the proposed expansion but the project is expected to be completed by the end of 2016. Additionally, Alliant Energy announced plans last month for a 200 MW wind energy project in Iowa.

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