Primghar, Iowa — The completion of Highland Wind Farm near Primghar and the Adams Wind Farm in Adams County mark the eighth and ninth wind farm projects for Iowa’s largest utility company, MidAmerican Energy.
MidAmerican Energy spokesperson, Ruth Comer, says work on the Highland Wind Farm wrapped up in early December, and the Adams Farm was completed last week.
The two recently completed wind farms — number eight or the Highland farm near Primghar, and number nine, the Adams wind farm in Adams County increased the total number of turbines in operation.
The Highland farm near Primghar is the company’s largest, and Comer says it is one of the largest economic development projects in the state. She says they’ve taken advantage of new technology as they’ve installed new turbines. Some of the changes include using concrete for a turbine tower to build it higher to catch more wind, and longer blades on turbines to catch more wind. Comer says the turbine blades should be spinning for decades before they have to be replaced.
The new turbines allow the company to generate 35-hundred megawatts of electricity, which is about 42 percent of the company’s installed generation capacity. Comer says that will increase as they complete work on their 10th wind project by the end of this year with farms in O’Brien and Ida County.
Des Moines-based MidAmerican says it now owns and operates more wind turbines than any utility in the nation. The company has moved into that spot in a little more than a decade.
MidAmerican says wind projects have spurred economic development in the state, creating thousands of construction jobs and almost 200 permanent jobs in rural Iowa. The company says the wind projects will generate more than one-point-five billion dollars in lease payments to landowners and property tax payments to schools, cities and counties in the next 30 years.