Back in May, MidAmerican Energy Company had announced their intention to invest $1.9 billion for adding 1,050 megawatts of wind energy generation capacity in Iowa. Now the company has finalized the project by placing the world‚Äôs largest order for onshore wind turbines with Siemens.
Siemens will supply MidAmerican Energy with 448 wind turbines of type SWT-2.3-108.
Each of the turbines will have a nominal rating of 2.3 MW and rotor diameters of around 354 feet. If you line them up end-to-end, they would cover a distance of 44 miles.
These 448 turbines will be installed in five different wind projects across Iowa, including:-
- 500-megawatt Highland wind project;
- 250-megawatt Lundgren wind project;
- 138.6-megawatt Wellsburg wind project;
- 117-megawatt Macksburg wind project; and
- 44-megawatt Vienna II wind project
The five projects combined will produce enough renewable energy to power the equivalent of 317,000 average Iowa households, and the company is not passing on the cost of the investment to its customers.
On the contrary, the huge influx of clean energy will help stabilize electric rates, and they actually expect a rate reduction totaling an annual $10 million by 2017. When the five wind projects become operational in 2015, MidAmerican Energy expects to be able to start off with a $3.3 million rate reduction.
The economic development and job creation resulting from the project is also going to be significant.
For starters, it helps retain the 500 Siemens jobs at the manufacturing facility in Fort Madison, Iowa where the company plans to produce the rotor blades.
Iowa Governor Branstad said in a statement that it is great to have an Iowa-based energy company placing the world‚Äôs largest onshore order for wind turbines in a facility that has produced more than 9,000 blades since the plant began operations in 2007.
The nacelles and hubs for the wind turbines will be assembled at the Siemens plant in Hutchinson, Kansas, and this will help retain another 300 jobs.
The project will additionally help create 1,000 construction jobs during the two-year period while the five wind projects are being built, and another 40 permanent MidAmerican jobs subsequently.
Local governments in Iowa will collect an additional $360 million in property tax revenues over the next 30 years, and the landowners themselves will collect an additional $3.2 million per year.