MASON CITY – Senator Amanda Ragan (D) says wind energy is a success story in Iowa.
According to a newsletter she sent this week:
Innovative energy has been a hallmark of the Iowa economy in recent years. Geography, natural resources and a strong agricultural heritage have positioned us for success in the industry. The Legislature actively supports the growth of Iowa’s homegrown energy options.
Wind energy is one such success story. Iowa’s winds have created jobs, grown business and manufacturing, added to farm income and boosted local economies.
Incentives have made Iowa home to manufacturers and other companies that maintain, repair and provide supplies for wind energy systems. More than 215 Iowa businesses are connected to the wind industry, employing more than 6,000 Iowans.
In 2015, Iowa produced more than 31 percent of our electricity from wind. That’s a larger share than any other state. Iowa produces enough wind energy to power more than 1.5 million homes, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
We have encouraged the development of large-scale wind farms, as well as smaller, locally owned wind energy systems. We’ve also made it easier and more affordable to install small wind systems to power homes, businesses and farms.
The environmental benefits of Iowa wind energy are also substantial. By turning to wind, we remove the equivalent of more than 1.3 million cars worth of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and save more than 3.5 billion gallons of water annually.
Iowa is well positioned to continue as a leader in the wind industry. We’re located in the middle of the nation’s largest wind resources. Additionally, our community colleges are training workers for a variety of jobs that keep the industry booming.
MidAmerican Energy is also planning to build $3.6 billion wind turbine operation that will generate up to 2,000 MW of electricity through 1,000 turbines, enough energy to power 800,000 homes. Alliant Energy plans to spend $1 billion over five years to add 500 MW to a wind farm in Franklin County—enough to power 215,000 households—and possibly more in other parts of the state.
I was honored to receive the Legislative Friend of Housing Award. It recognizes contributions to advancing affordable housing in Iowa by actively participating in affordable housing legislation, developing strong grass roots initiatives and making improving lives through affordable housing an integral part of legislative work. I’m pictured here with Ruth Randleman of the Iowa Finance Authority board and Dave Jamison, executive director of the Iowa Finance Authority.