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Wind energy companies looking for lines

Nov 13, 2009 - UPI - DES MOINES, Iowa,

Proposed multistate transmission lines carrying wind-generated electricity from the Midwest are a vital next step in U.S. energy efforts, experts say.

"These days, it is well understood that tapping the nation's abundant wind resources will require a robust transmission grid -- one that is much more robust than our fathers' system that we have today," said Susan Tierney, an energy consultant and former assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Energy.

Warren Buffet's MidAmerican Energy of Des Moines, Iowa, says it plans to be a major force in wind energy, The Des Moines Register reported Friday. The company already has 1,350 megawatts of wind-generating capacity in the state.

Iowa is considered to be the logical hub for proposed new transmission systems from the wind-rich Great Plains west of the Mississippi River to the more populous East, the Register said.

MidAmerica Vice President Dean Crist said the next step for the transmission line plan would be applying for approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.