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May/June 2003

Wind Powers Iowa’s Economic Growth

 A new crop is beginning to dot the Iowa landscape that will make the state less reliant on fossil fuels. The crop is giant wind turbines. PPM Energy, Scottish Power’s U.S. subsidiary, has announced plans to build a $50 million,
44-megawatt wind farm in northwest Iowa.

The new facility, called “Flying Cloud,” will be located near Spirit Lake, Iowa, and supply power to Interstate Power & Light, a subsidiary of Alliant Energy. “We’re bringing clean wind power to our customers to meet Iowa’s growing demand for renewable energy,” says Lee Hanson, an Alliant Energy executive overseeing the project. The wind farm will feature 29 one-point-five-megawatt wind turbines manufactured by General Electric. The wind turbines are expected to begin churning out electricity this fall. One megawatt equals one million watts, which means one turbine can supply enough energy to power about 1,500 homes.

The news follows a recent MidAmerican Energy announcement that it will build the world’s largest wind farm in Iowa. While the site still has not been made public, that $323 million, 310-megawatt wind project would consist of up to 200 turbines and be completed by 2006.

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