Proposed transmission line could help expand Iowa’s wind energy


June 2nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Turbines near Adair, IA (Photo courtesy Mid-American Energy)

A spokesman for the Iowa Wind Power Association says a proposal by a Texas company to build a two-BILLION dollar transmission line will help the state continue to expand its wind power capacity. Association executive director, Harold Prior, says they want to triple Iowa’s wind power output by 2020, but need a way to get all the new power to the people who need it.


He ways they need extra transmission lines or they will have no way to ship out the electricity. Prior says industry has been moving wind farms to “less quality wind regimes” and using higher efficiency turbines that can produce electricity with less wind.


Prior says the transmission line proposed by the Houston company will allow the electricity to move from Iowa’s highly productive wind farms. Prior says the line will take 35-hundred megawatts, almost double the current installed capacity of Iowa, and export it to the east coast through an interconnect in Chicago. He says the two-BILLION dollar cost of the project is privately financed and will be paid for by the end user.

Iowa has 25-hundred wind-powered generators that produce some 36-hundred megawatts of electricity. Mid-American Energy has three wind-farm projects in our listening area, all of which were built in 2008.

There are 100 turbines located northwest of Carroll, 230 near Adair, and 102 near Walnut. That’s not counting the various single turbines erected by various municipalities and private businesses or property owners. A new Mid-American Energy Wind farm planned for southeastern Cass, southwestern Adair and northeastern Adams Counties, will add another 193 turbines to the local landscape, 155 of which will be in Cass County.

The turbines near Carroll,  Adair and Walnut, generate 477,800-kilowatts of power, or enough to power nearly 50-homes per year. The average home uses 10,000-kilowatts of power, each year.

(Sources: Radio Iowa, Cass County Engineer’s Office &