Monday, July 14, 2008

Iowa Wind Farm Impact

It isn’t just corn that they harvest in IA. They are also making a push to harvest the wind. And, in the process helping to develop a new industry—a burgeoning cluster of wind power equipment producers. And, with the USA being called the Saudi Arabia of Wind, it’s easy to see the potential.

While there are only 15 wind farms in IA, they already produce 1,273 Megawatts (MW) of power, with 337 MW of that coming online last year. That places IA third in generating capacity in the USA.

The Iowa Department of Economic Development put a push onto recruiting in manufacturers of wind power equipment and within the last two years companies like Clipper Windpower, Siemens, Acciona Windpower, TPI Composites and Hendricks Industries have all picked IA for new major plants. Those five companies have collectively invested well over $100 million and created over 1,000 new high paying manufacturing jobs in communities scattered over the state.

A study commissioned by the state projects that $3.2 billion per year will be invested in new wind turbine farms within a 600 mile radius of Iowa every single year through 2013. Iowa is to be congratulated for taking an early and progressive approach to this new industry.

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