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Guest post - Rock Island Clean Line

May 9, 2014

WindTurbines-Stuart This week, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) hosted the annual WINDPOWER conference. This conference brought together wind industry professionals from all corners of the country to collaborate and expand America’s wind energy’s future. The state of Iowa was out in force with a booth showcasing the opportunities for wind energy companies to expand their businesses throughout the state. As a manager for the Rock Island Clean Line, I had the privilege to speak at WINDPOWER this year. The Rock Island Clean Line is a proposed 500-mile electric transmission line that will deliver wind energy from northwest Iowa to communities in Illinois and beyond. This project will open up the opportunity for $7 billion in new wind energy development in Iowa and will deliver that electricity to communities that want and need more clean energy. Our transmission project is just one example of how Iowa is reaping the rewards of its homegrown wind energy resource. From wind farms to wind-related job training and manufacturing, Iowa is a national wind energy leader. And it’s no surprise as Iowa has some of the best wind resources in the country. In 1983, Iowa’s lawmakers saw the potential for this industry to grow and enacted one of the first laws to increase the demand for renewable energy. This law, called a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), has been far surpassed by Iowa’s expanding wind energy industry. In fact, Iowa currently receives more than 27 percent of its electricity from wind. That’s more than any other state in the country! Surprisingly, however, Iowa is only utilizing about one percent of its total wind resource. As more wind farms come online and new, reliable transmission is developed, this number, and Iowa’s economy, will grow. Alongside this type of development comes an abundance of new jobs. The wind industry in Iowa employs thousands each year, but we know there is potential for thousands more. Let’s utilize Iowa’s abundant wind resource to not only build wealth for future generations within the state, but also in our nation. Amy Kurt, Manager, Rock Island Clean Line

 

 

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