Sheldon, Iowa — Several companies are going forward with plans to capture the wind power that is available in O’Brien County. Wednesday, O’Brien County Development Director Kiana Johnson brought the Sheldon City Council up to date on some of the activity. Johnson told the Council that Invenergy has developed the Highland Wind Energy project. This will feature 218 turbines over seventy thousand acres of farm land. This project has been sold to Mid-American Energy. Mid-American is constructing a new transmission line across O’Brien and Clay County. Their collection point will be in Lincoln Township of O’Brien County.
At this time Invenergy is considering another wind project in O’Brien County.
Even though O’Brien County has a history of persistent strong winds, ideal for developing wind energy, there has not been a way to deliver electricity produced here to where it is needed. To meet that need a group called Rock Island Clean Line Energy has announced plans to build a converter station in Center Township. They will convert AC to DC and develop a high voltage direct current transmission line to travel through O’Brien County , then through Clay County and on to its destination in Illinois. This project will require energy from one thousand to two thousand turbines within a one hundred mile radius.
Johnson said another company, Duke Energy has plans for seven new transmission line projects in five Midwestern states. Duke Energy and American Transmission Company could start building their wind energy collection tree through far eastern O’Brien County in 2016.
Johnson told the City Council that Sheldon as well as other area communities will benefit from all this activity in many ways, including the money spent in the area by construction workers.