July 20, 2014

Iowa leading the nation wind energy, looks to add more

Iowa continues to battle through tax credit expirations to stay the leader in wind turbine energy.

Iowa has been home to many wind turbine projects since the first towers were constructed in the state in the 1990s. At first the turbines seemed more like “novelties to the landscape” and only really beneficial for farmers, the Post-Bulletin reported.

However, now Iowa has more than 3,200 wind turbines and ranks first in the nation in total wind energy capacity, the source reported. Some believe that is getting more difficult to construct wind turbines because of the noise and disturbance to nature.

The state and federal tax credits were discontinued at the end of 2013, which some believe is having an effect on the production of wind turbines in the U.S., the source said. Currently, Iowa generates almost 28 percent of its energy demand from wind power, which is the most by any state in the nation.

Iowa had more than 6,000 jobs created from the wind industry and it's forecasted to give $2.6 billion in county tax rolls, according to the Iowa Wind Energy Association.

“I don't have a bad thing to say about them,” said Lynn Handorf, a farmer in Tama Count with 13 turbines on her land, according to the Post-Bulletin. “There is some wind noise on certain days. It's a whoosh-whoosh sound. I notice it in the morning when I come outside. But when I've been around them all day, I don't notice it.”

Iowa senator wants more statewide clean energy 

Sen. Jeff Danielson, D-Iowa, explained that Iowa needs to invest more in wind power and renewable energies since the nation could possibly reach energy independence with the shale boom getting the U.S. closer to not needing imports, the Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier reported.

“For Iowa, a more energy-independent stance means embracing renewable, sustainable, homegrown energy and encouraging clean power generated locally,” said Danielson, according to the source. “We have already done this with wind, which has been a bipartisan success story at a time when many other states are engaging in political battles over energy… This has brought with it thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in investment into our state's economy.”

Danielson added that many politicians aren't keen on the fact the U.S. still relies on the Middle East and other high-risk areas for oil supplies, the source reported. However, investing in more clean energy would allow the nation to rely less on foreign supplies and help create more jobs at home.

Wind turbines are counted on to stay as productive as possible. Original equipment manufacturers can turn to Broadwind Energy for a list of turbine maintenance tasks.