MidAmerican Gives Wind Power a Boost
MidAmerican Energy, a major investor-owned utility based in Iowa, said April 19 that it will add another 540 megawatts (MW) of wind power to the 460 MW it already owns. Iowa Gov. Chet Culver (D) is calling for "regulators, business professionals and utility companies" to add 1,015 MW to the 1,000 MW already installed in the state for a total of 2,015 MW by the year 2015.
In announcing the utility's plans, MidAmerican President Greg Abel praised wind power for helping keep electricity rates stable: "In addition to the environmental benefit of adding new wind energy production in Iowa, customers of MidAmerican Energy will continue to benefit from electric rate stability. The last electric rate increase MidAmerican Energy customers experienced was in 1995, and we propose adding the new wind energy while maintaining electric rate stability until 2014, which is nearly 20 years of electric rate stability for MidAmerican Energy customers.” Wind power, which uses no fuel, is immune to price swings in global energy markets for oil, natural gas, or other fuels. This is a major benefit to utilities and customers alike, because it keeps energy prices more predictable.