Iowa largest percentage wind generator
May 01, 2011 - Dan Piller - desmoinesregister.com
Iowa leads the U.S. in the percentage of its electricity that comes from wind, with 15 percent, according to the annual report of the American Wind Energy Association.
Iowa’s 3,675 megawatts if wind generation is the second-largest wind capacity among the states, trailing Texas’ 10,081 megawatts. But Iowa gets about 15 per cent of its total electricity from wind while Texas’ much larger grid system derives 7.8 per cent of its electricity from wind.
“Iowa is on a path to reach 20 percent,” said Jessica Isaacs, senior policy analyst with the American Wind Energy Association who presented the report Thursday in New York. “That is on par with what you see in Europe.”
Behind Iowa in wind capacity is California, with 3,177 megawatts, Minnesota, 2,192 megawatts, Oregon and Washington with identical 2,104 megawatts and Illinois with 2,045 megawatts.
Wind power tends to be concentrated in the Middle and Western sections of the U.S. New York is the only state east of Chicago with more than 1,000 megwatts. New York Sate reported 1,275 megawatts.
MidAmerican’s addition will bring it to almost 2,300 megawatts, the largest single chunk of Iowa’s wind capacity and the largest investor-owned utility owner of wind production in the U.S. Florida-based NexEra Energy has about 800 megawatts of capacity in Iowa.
MidAmerican spokeswoman Ann Thelen said Thursday that the Des Moines-based utility is putting together crews to add 13 turbines and 29.9 megawatts of capacity to its Calhoun County site near Pomeroy. It also will add another 193 turbines, or 444 megawatts, to its existing wind farm that covers Cass, Adams and Adair counties.
MidAmerican also plans to add 52 turbines, or 119.6 megawatts of capacity, to a site near Laurel in Marshall County.