Friday, September 15, 2006

Iowa Will Consider Building 40,000-Acre Wind-Energy Farm

Iowa Will Consider Building 40,000-Acre Wind-Energy Farm
BY Associated Press
September 1, 2006

Northern Iowa could have one of the nation's largest wind farms by Iowa Winds LLC wants to build a 200- to 300-megawatt farm covering about 40,000 acres in Franklin County.

A county zoning board will consider approving permits for the $200 million project next month.

"It's something new and renewable," a spokeswoman for the Iowa Falls-based company, Amber Schwarck, said. "It's great for national security, so we can start depending on ourselves and the wind."

Iowa ranks third in the nation in wind energy behind Texas and California, according to the American Wind Energy Association. The Franklin County Wind Farm would help Iowa keep pace with those states and create between 30 and 40 technical jobs maintaining turbines, Ms. Schwarck said. A pay scale was unavailable.

Company officials said the farm could be the nation's largest — depending on the permits and the county's power grid infrastructure. The project would be built near Bradford and involve 193 landowners in the townships of Grant, Hamilton, Ingham, Lee, Morgan, Oakland, and Reeves.

If the county approves the project, construction would start next spring and take about a year, Franklin County Supervisor Michael Nolte said