The power company Alliant Energy says it aims to triple the amount of wind energy it generates in Iowa due to an up to $1 billion investment.
The company plans to expand a Franklin County wind farm, and possibly construct more turbines around the state.
“When we’re getting energy from renewable sources such as wind, solar, water or hydro, you know the fuel costs, it’s free, there’s nothing there," says Alliant spokesman Justin Foss. "We expect a project like this at the end of the day will come out to be a benefit to customers. So, even though it’s a $1 billion investment, the reduced cost of energy that comes from these, really makes it a benefit."
The expansion is projected to take five years, and when completed Alliant estimates the farm will power up to 16 percent of all Iowa homes.
Foss says Alliant doesn’t yet know if the rates will increase as a result of the infrastructure up grades. He adds if rates do go up, it won’t happen until 2019 at the earliest.
Alliant says it does not plan to use eminent domain for its expansion.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, Iowa leads the country in the percentage of in-state electricity generated by wind. In 2015, 31.3 percent of Iowa's energy came from wind, followed by South Dakota at 25.5 percent.