Iowa’s biggest economic development deal was announced Wednesday. As Governor Terry Branstad puts it… it’s all about wind energy. Mid-American Energy will in invest 1-point-9 billion dollars in Iowa to add up to 1,050 megawatts of wind generation. That’s about 656 new wind turbines IN IOWA by 2016. Branstad says Iowa’s wind energy industry is a good selling point for high-tech companies like Facebook which just announced it would build a data center in Altoona, just outside of Des Moines.
“They want to say that a lot of their energy for these data centers comes from renewable sources and we can offer that," Governor Branstad said.
Governor Branstad and MidAmerican Energy President Bill Fehrman wouldn’t say where the new turbines will be built. Fehrman says the extension of the federal Production Tax Credit for wind energy was a factor.
“The work that our federal delegation did to extend at least through this year was fundamental in our decision to bring these benefits back for our customers,” Fehrman said.
Construction has to start on the turbines before the end of the year to qualify for the production tax credit. Fehrman says 39 percent of The energy used by MidAmerican Iowa customers could be served by wind by 2016 .