Des Moines, Iowa — MidAmerican Energy officials tell us the company has reached a new milestone – delivering 100% renewable energy to serve its Iowa customers’ electricity usage last year.
They tell us that in 2022, MidAmerican’s wind fleet generated more than 27,000 gigawatt-hours over the 12-month period, exceeding the total annual usage of the company’s Iowa customers.
Company representatives tell us the achievement was possible thanks to a record-setting wind resource in 2022 and what they call “MidAmerican’s decades-long commitment to investing in renewable energy on behalf of its customers.” MidAmerican’s first wind farm became operational in 2004. Today, the wind fleet is comprised of more than 3,400 wind turbines at more than three-dozen wind farms across Iowa.
Mike Fehr, MidAmerican senior vice president of renewable generation and compliance said that it’s incredible to see the enormous amount of electricity that MidAmerican is now able to generate using renewable resources such as wind and solar. He says, “Not only was it an extraordinary year for Iowa wind speeds, which continually exceeded predictions, but with high natural gas prices in 2022, it couldn’t have come at a better time for our customers.”
They say that in addition to generating clean energy, wind is what company officials call, “a zero-cost fuel that keeps MidAmerican’s current and future rates low.”
The company’s proposed “Wind PRIME” project continues through the regulatory process with the Iowa Utilities Board. In August, MidAmerican, the Office of Consumer Advocate and environmental intervenors agreed to terms in the Wind PRIME docket, maintaining key customer benefits that have been proposed. The regulatory process will continue, culminating with a rehearing in October. The board is expected to make a final decision on Wind PRIME by December.
They say the additional 2,042 megawatts of renewable generation proposed in Wind PRIME is necessary to serve the growing customer base in Iowa and maintain 100% renewable coverage. Low energy costs and renewable energy coverage have been key to attracting and retaining businesses in Iowa. As companies continue to grow in the state, MidAmerican will need to add renewable generation to serve those needs and to support growing communities.