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By Mark Wolski
April 14 — MidAmerican Energy Company, Iowa's largest energy provider, announced April 14 it will ask the state utilities board to approve a project that would generate up to 2,000 megawatts of wind energy capacity.
Iowa now generates more than 30 percent of its energy needs from wind, and the project could make Iowa the first state to top 40 percent.
The timing of the project should allow the company to take advantage of federal tax credits for wind energy projects, said Ashton Newman, spokeswoman for Des Moines-based MidAmerican.
MidAmerican would like to see the project receive regulatory approval by September, she told Bloomberg BNA. Construction on the estimated 1,000 turbines would begin next year, she said, and could be completed by the end of 2019.
The Wind XI project could generate enough energy to power the equivalent of 800,000 Iowa homes, she said.
While most of the power would go to Iowans, a small portion would be allocated to MidAmerican's service territory in South Dakota.
The company has not yet determined where it will locate the turbines, she said. Those decisions will be made while the utilities board considers the project, she said.
Nathaniel Baer, energy program director for the Iowa Environmental Council, said the project would put the state on track to be generating 10,000 megawatts of wind power by 2020.
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