Wind powering America: Iowa Page: 1 of 2
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Since earliest recorded history, wind
power has been used to move ships,
grind grain, and pump water. Today,
wind power is also being used to pro-
vide electricity to homes, schools, busi-
nesses, and entire communities. More
than half the United States have wind
resources that could support the devel-
opment of utility-scale wind power
The Midwest, including Iowa, has been
described as the "Saudi Arabia of wind
energy" because of its strong winds.
Iowa is the eleventh windiest state in the
nation, with nearly 40% of its land area
offering wind generation capabilities.
The state has the potential to produce
4.8 times its own annual electrical con-
sumption through wind power. Because
of decreasing capital costs, new techno-
logical advances, and favorable legisla-
tion, wind power is Iowa's-and the
world's-fastest growing renewable
"Green power" is power produced by
renewable or environmentally friendly
energy sources, as distinct from power
produced by fossil fuel, nuclear, and
other types of generators. Customers
can arrange to purchase a certain
amount of green power (actually energy,
in kilowatt-hours [kWh]) per month, for
which they commonly pay a small pre-
mium to completely or partly offset any
higher cost of renewable power sources.
The policy of transferring these costs to
green power customers is called "green
State Financial Incentives
Iowa offers a state sales tax exemption
for the total cost of wind energy equip-
ment and all materials used to manufac-
ture, install, or construct wind energy
systems. This sales tax exemption
applies to both commercial and residen-
tial systems. The exemption does not
cover the sales taxes paid by a com-
pany in purchasing equipment to con-
struct a plant to manufacture wind
Iowa also offers a state loan pro-
gram for commercial, industrial,
and residential alternative energy
projects. This loan program is
administered by the Iowa Energy
Center at Iowa State University
and is funded by the state's
investor-owned utilities. Between
1997 and 1999. $1.8 million was
appropriated. The program offers
zero (0/) interest loans for as
much as half of the project cost
up to a maximum of $250,000.
Funds are available for various
technologies in the following
percentages: solar: 5%, methane:
30%, biomass 20%, small wind
(<10 kW): 10%, big wind (>10 kW):
20% and hydropower: 15%.
Installed - 243 megawatts (MW)
Planned - 0.6
In-State Wind Energy Potential:
104,300 MW capacity after land
use and environmental
172 billion kWh per year
Adair, 0.225 MW, annual output
490,000 kWh, power purchased by
Alliant/IES Utilities, Vestas turbines
Akron-Westfield, annual output 0.6 MW,
power purchased by Akron-Westfield
Community Schools, Vestas turbines
Algona, 2.25 MW, annual output 5M kWh,
power purchased by Cedar Falls
Utilities, Zond Systems, Inc., turbines
Allendorf, 1.2 MW, annual output 2.3 M
kWh, power purchased by Alliant/IES
Utilities, NEG Micon turbines
forest City, 0.6 MW, annual output 1.3 M
kWh, power purchased by forest City
Municipality, Nordex turbines
Joice, 0.25 MW power purchased by
Alliant/IES Utilities, Nordex turbines
Nevada, 0.45 MW, annual output
349.661 kWh, power purchased by
Alliant/IES Utilities, WindWorld turbines
What is the installed
wind energy capacity
in the United States?
By January 2000, the total
U.S. installed wind energy
capacity was 2500 MW.
enough electricity to meet
the needs of 600,000 to
800,000 typical U.S.
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NREL. Wind powering America: Iowa, book, April 11, 2000; Golden, Colorado. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc707976/m1/1/: accessed November 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.