While Wisconsin officials drive wind energy development out of the Badger state, next-door Iowa leads, according to anarticle by Dan Piller in the Des Moines Register:
About 15 percent of Iowa’s electricity generation capacity now comes from wind, maintaining the state’s national leadership in figures released Thursday by the American Wind Energy Association.
With a major expansion by MidAmerican Energy, Iowa stands to rise to 20 percent this year.
“That’s a percentage close to what we see in Europe, and it’s exciting,” said Jessica Isaacs, senior analyst with the wind association.
Iowa still ranks second nationally in wind capacity with 3,675 megawatts, behind Texas’ 10,085 megawatts but still ahead of California’s 3,177.
Because of Texas’ larger electricity grid, Iowa’s 15 percent of total capacity coming from wind exceeds Texas’ 7.8 percent percentage of wind to total electricity.
Iowa’s total will grow this year with the addition of 593 megawatts by MidAmerican in Calhoun, Cass, Adams, Adair and Marshall counties.
The expansions will bring Des Moines-based MidAmerican to 2,316 megawatts of capacity, the largest utility-owned and operated wind generation portfolio among investor-owned utilities.