We wanted to highlight an excellent editorial by the Sioux City Journal on why wind power is “good for Iowa, good for America.” The editorial follows last Wednesday’s announcement of “plans for the largest economic development investment in state history: A $1.9 billion wind-energy project involving the addition of 656 new wind turbines.”
According to leaders, the project will generate as much as 1,050 megawatts of power in the state by 2015, create 48 permanent jobs and 460 construction jobs over two years, provide $360 million in additional property tax revenue over the next 30 years, produce $3.2 million in annual payments to landowners and reduce future electricity rates for MidAmerican customers by up to $10 million per year by 2017.
Because wind is in inexhaustible supply and some 75 percent of Iowa is considered suitable for wind-energy development with an estimated total resource of 570,000 megawatts of electricity, we haven’t scratched the surface of the potential for this industry in our state.
That’s not just true for Iowa, of course, but for broad swaths of this country (in the Great Plains, off the coasts, and elsewhere) that are highly suitable for wind power development. And developing those domestic, clean energy resources, as the Sioux City Journal correctly points out, would be good not just for Iowa but for America as a whole. Let’s do it.