By Climate Nexus, EcoWatch
The Iowa Utilities Board approved the nation’s largest wind energy project (1), which will power 800,000 homes once completed. The 2,000-megawatt Wind XI project should be completed by the end of 2019.
“Wind energy helps us keep prices stable and more affordable for customers, provides jobs and economic benefits for communities and the state, and contributes to a cleaner environment for everyone,” said Bill Fehrman, the CEO of the utility behind the project.
Bruce Nilles, senior director for Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign (2), agrees. Nilles said in a statement, “This is an amazing example of how the unstoppable transition towards a 100% clean-energy economy (3) is moving faster than many expected. This is a landmark moment not only for the burgeoning wind energy industry in Iowa, a state which already runs on more than one-third wind energy and employs thousands of hard-working Iowans, but for the entire nation, as the largest wind project ever approved in the country. Iowa and MidAmerican’s rapid transition from dirty coal to affordable and renewable wind energy offers a clear path for utilities nationwide to make major strides towards 100% clean energy in a way that provides family-supporting jobs and without rate increases.”
“This also represents a huge leap forward for one of Warren Buffett’s three utilities (4) and is a model for how his other two can quickly follow suit, particularly Pacificorp, which operates the largest coal fleet in the west. We still have tremendous work to ensure that this transition keeps moving full speed ahead, but one thing is certain, with announcements like this one, we aren’t ever going back to dirty fossil fuels.”