Iowa Now Second in Nation for Wind Power
Iowa now ranks as second in the nation for installed wind capacity, with 3,675 megawatts (MW) of electricity being generated from wind energy. The state is using wind to create enough power to supply more than 900,000 homes with electricity.
From the first of the year through April 2011, Iowa is generating 20% of its total electricity from wind energy. Iowa’s 4th Congressional District is also the third in the nation for installed wind power. The only state producing more electricity from wind is Texas, which has 10,135 MW of electricity being generated from wind energy.
There are currently 619 MW worth of wind energy projects currently under construction that are not yet online, and about 14,500 MW of wind projects waiting to go into construction. The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory has ranks Iowa seventh in the nation in wind resource after conducting a resource assessment. Theoretically, the state could produce 44 times its current electricity needs from wind power.
The push toward wind power is driving both investments in wind energy machinery in the state as well as education in wind industry training. Iowa’s wind energy industry is now supporting more than 3,000 jobs, and is a leader for attracting wind energy companies, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).
Over the last 10 to 15 years, AWEA estimates that wind power has brought in more than $5 billion in capital investments for developing wind farms and creating wind turbine manufacturing facilities in Iowa.