Articles from Iowa
A MidAmerican Energy vice president said Monday that the utility would prefer to build its own wind turbine farms rather than buy renewable power from another source. ...Rival wind generator NextEra Energy of Florida, which has 800 megawatts of wind generation in Iowa, has objected to the MidAmerican proposal, saying it would be anticompetitive and that MidAmerican's real purpose is less to serve its customers than to sell excess electricity in the wholesale markets.
Gov. Chet Culver is defending his focus on Iowa's renewable energy industry, saying his effort has created "thousands of jobs" and leaving little doubt he'll make it the centerpiece of his campaign for a second term. The Democratic governor made the creation of a $100 million Iowa Power Fund the centerpiece of his 2006 campaign, and he dismissed a report by the nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency that found the fund has had limited success.
An executive of NextEra Energy said Wednesday the company would add up to 2,000 megawatts of wind-generated electricity in Iowa to the 800 megawatts it already generates. But NextEra Vice President Michael O'Sullivan said his company would need the same rate of return that MidAmerican Energy of Des Moines has requested from the Iowa Utilities Board for its proposed 1,001-megawatt project.
As a follow-up to last week's meeting with Maharishi University of Management officials, the Jefferson County Board of Supervisors discussed wind turbine installation and removal guidelines Monday. At this time, supervisor Steve Burgmeier said, "There are none." Supervisor Lee Dimmitt expressed interest in establishing guidelines.
The moratorium, expected to last three to six months, would give city officials time to craft an ordinance and work together with other cities to create a consistent ordinance to govern the use of wind turbines in the metro. Currently, Clive city officials know of only one resident, Kevin Babb, who plans to install a wind turbine.
Growing interest in wind power has prompted Des Moines-area leaders to consider a uniform ordinance to provide consistent regulation of small-scale wind energy turbines in residential areas. Rules currently vary among Iowa cities on whether residents can add wind turbines on their properties. Some cities have banned turbines, while others regulate their size. Others do not allow turbines on small lots, but do on larger parcels. Members of the Metro Advisory Council, a group of elected officials, recently decided to examine how best to handle wind power projects.
Three members approve, but two absent leaders still have to vote. Waukee became the latest Iowa city to address wind power on Monday, when its City Council voted on an ordinance that would allow wind turbines in only a few areas within city limits. ...The ordinance will require two more votes before it can take effect.
Because of growing trend, city wants to make ordinance more detailed; it will be voted on later this month. Johnston is the latest in a list of Des Moines area cities to consider regulations related to construction and use of wind turbines. ...Councilman Gerd Clabaugh is wary of allowing an increased presence of turbines in a community that is growing both residentially and commercially.
Waukee became the latest Iowa city to address wind power on Monday, when its City Council voted 3-0 to approve the first reading of an ordinance that would prohibit turbines from being erected on or around single-family homes.
During the second reading and action of an amendment to the zoning ordinance concerning wind towers and turbines during the Clinton County Board of Supervisors' meeting, a county resident and businessmen voiced concerns and additional information concerning wind farms.
A public hearing and first reading of amendments to the Clinton County Zoning Ordinance sparked discussion concerning reverse setback limits concerning wind farms Wednesday at the Clinton County Board of Supervisors meeting. Paul Ketelsen, planning and zoning administrator, presented an amendment to the zoning ordinance concerning wind harvesting towers.
The Council Bluffs City Council said “no” to wind energy – at least for now. The majority of the City Council Monday evening voted against an ordinance that would have allowed wind energy conversion systems, particularly those windmill-like structures that people see out in the countryside. It was the third reading of the ordinance, making it official.
Iowa has begun to produce so much wind energy that a quarrel has broken out over who will get to sell the surplus. MidAmerican Energy of Des Moines, Iowa's largest wind energy provider with 1,300 megawatts of wind capacity, has asked Iowa regulators to approve more than 1,000 megawatts of wind generation to be built at yet-undisclosed locations in the state. But MidAmerican's largest rival in Iowa wind energy, NextEra Energy Resources of Jupiter, Fla., has objected in a filing with the Iowa Utilities Board.
In 2010, Alliant Energy expects to ask for another rate increase to pay the costs of building its Whispering Willow Wind Farm in north central Iowa. "Raising rates right now, with the way the economy is, is something you would not want to do if you had your druthers," said Tom Aller, president of Alliant's Interstate Power & Light subsidiary, to The Gazette's editorial board.
With economic breezes no longer at its back, Iowa's wind energy industry hopes the three-year renewal of federal tax breaks will regenerate the momentum that has made Iowa the nation's second-largest wind producer. "The renewals of those tax incentives will be a huge help to us," said Estherville insurance man Al Blum, who is putting together wind farm projects in Emmett and Dickinson counties.
If you're a landowner and someone approaches you about placing a wind turbine on your property, are you getting the best deal possible? The best terms? And if the wind company should go belly up, who's going to pay to take down that 235-foot turbine? Those were some of the questions that attorney Scott Buchanan addressed at the second annual conference of the Iowa Wind Energy Association.
Acciona Windpower plans to cut employment by 58 at its West Branch facility in response to slackening demand for wind turbines. In a statement, Acciona said demand "is uncharacteristically low due primarily to instability in the financing markets." A total of 65 positions are being cut.
A 50-ton structure fell 246 feet to the frozen ground on Saturday when the blades of a turbine under construction east of Waverly caught wind and started rotating at a speed reaching 60 rpm. The hub housing the generating components of the Cannon II turbine and the structure's three 177-foot blades collapsed after spinning for hours at the mercy of the wind, says Waverly Light and Power General Manager Diane Johnson. A gust caught the blades prematurely on Friday.
The construction company, ICS of North Dakota, lifted the wind turbine rotor assembly, to which the blades attach, 246 feet high into place late yesterday afternoon. After it was lifted it was discovered the blades were not ‘feathered' or turned properly so they could not catch the wind. In the position the blades are in, the wind caught the blades causing them to spin. When this was discovered, the Bremer county sheriff's department was notified and all personnel were evacuated, including two homeowners who were outside of the recommended danger zone.
Part of a wind turbine under construction broke apart Saturday morning. The problem started Friday when construction crews were installing a second wind turbine for Waverly Light and Power. During the process, a construction error caused the rotor and blades to start moving in the wind prematurely - spinning uncontrollably and unable to stop until it broke.