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Alliant Energy announces 210 MW wind farm

Alliant Energy has announced the fifth and final part of the utility’s plan to add 1,000 megawatts of new wind generation in Iowa.

According to a Monday news release, Alliant Energy has partnered with privately owned energy company Invenergy to build the 210 MW Richland Wind Farm in Sac County.

The project is expected to create more than 150 construction jobs and generate “tens of millions of dollars” in economic benefits to the local area, the release stated.

It is set to be completed by early 2020 and is expected to generate enough energy for 80,000 average Iowa homes a year.

“Wind energy is a win for Iowans and especially our customers,” Doug Kopp, president of Alliant Energy’s Iowa energy company, said in the release. “Because there is no fuel cost associated with wind generation, when complete our five new wind farms will produce cost-effective, clean energy for our customers for decades.”

The Richland Wind Farm is part of Alliant’s $1.8 billion investment in wind power. The plan will reduce the company’s carbon dioxide emissions from 2005 levels by 40 percent by 2030, the release said.

Other Alliant wind farms include Upland Prairie Wind Farm in Clay and Dickinson counties and English Farms Wind Farm in Poweshiek County.

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MidAmerican Energy, the state’s other main utility, last year began construction at the first two sites of its $3.6 billion, 2,000-megawatt Wind XI project. The 168-megawatt Prairie and 170-megawatt Beaver Creek projects, are located in Mahaska County and Boone and Greene counties, respectively.

A third site for the Wind XI project, a North English wind farm in Poweshiek County, will add another 340 MW to the grid.

MidAmerican’s Wind XI project, which includes upgrades to more than 700 older turbines to increase energy production, is anticipated to be complete near the end of 2019.

At the project’s close, MidAmerican officials said they will produce up to 95 percent of the annual power consumption of its customers with wind. Utility officials eventually hope to reach 100 percent.

Iowa generates more than one-third of its electricity from wind power. In 2010, wind made up less than half that — about 16 percent of the state’s power.

l Comments: (319) 398-8309; mitchell.schmidt@thegazette.com

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