Video shows construction of U.S.’s tallest land-based wind turbine in Southwest Iowa


A screenshot from the "Reaching New Heights" video released by MidAmerican Energy Monday. (MidAmerican Energy/YouTube)
A screenshot from the “Reaching New Heights” video released by MidAmerican Energy on Monday May 23, 2016. (MidAmerican Energy/YouTube)
Nick Fetty | May 24, 2016

video released Monday by MidAmerican Energy shows the time-lapse construction of the country’s largest land-based wind turbine which took place in Southwest Iowa.

The 379-foot turbine is constructed mostly of concrete and towers more than 100 feet above its steel counterparts on the 65 turbine, 154-megawatt wind farm in Adams County, the Hawkeye State’s least populated county with 3,796 residents according to a 2015 U.S. Census Bureau estimate. The Des Moines-based power utility contracted with Siemens Americas Onshore Wind for the supply and construction of the concrete tower which began in August 2015 and took place over a 31-week span. Blades for the turbine were constructed at the Siemens facility in Fort Madison while the concrete for the project was sourced from EFCO Corp. in Des Moines.

MidAmerican Energy officials said the 2.415-megawatt concrete turbine will serve as a prototype to allow the power utility to evaluate the effectiveness of harnessing wind energy at higher altitudes.

“We want to continue to be a leader in bringing innovative energy solutions to our customers and the state of Iowa,” said Mike Gehringer, Vice President Renewable Energy. “Through investment in new methods and new technologies, we’ll move closer to our vision of supplying customers with 100 percent renewable energy.”

The video also points outs that the turbine consists of 90 tons of rebar in the foundation, 554 cubic yards of concrete, and over 80 miles of reinforcing steel. From its base to the top of its tallest blade, the turbine measures 557 feet which is just taller than the Washington Monument.

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