United States

United States

MidAmerican plans 2GW-plus wind and solar project in the US

US utility unveils plans for its Wind Prime project, which would feature 2,042MW of wind and 50MW of solar capacity

If approved, MidAmerican plans to complete construction of the Wind Prime project in late 2024
If approved, MidAmerican plans to complete construction of the Wind Prime project in late 2024

MidAmerican Energy has announced plans for a 2GW wind farm in the US as part of proposals for a $3.9 billion renewable energy project that will encompass wind, solar and “other clean energy technologies”.

The Wind Prime renewable energy project is planned to consist of up to 2,042MW of wind power capacity (2042MW Wind PRIME Wind PRIME (2042MW) OnshoreIowa, USA, North America Click to see full details) and up to 50MW of solar capacity, according to the company’s filing with the Iowa Utilities Board.

As part of its proposal, the firm said it will also conduct feasibility studies on other clean generation technologies, including carbon capture, energy storage and small modular nuclear reactors to help reach its transition to net-zero emissions.

The components of the project are at different stages of development and all of them still require permits before construction can begin. If approved, the company plans to complete construction in late 2024 and for its elements to be in service by the end of that year. 

MidAmerican told Windpower Monthly the project will be built in multiple stages "in 2023 and 2024, with approximately 1,000 MW added each year". 

A spokesperson for the company said: "The project will be built in Iowa at various sites around the state, however the specific sites are yet to be determined."

They added: "MidAmerican is still evaluating the best turbine technology for each site and has yet to select a supplier. [We] expect between 400 – 700 turbines will be used throughout the Wind Prime project."

Decarbonisation plans

MidAmerican serves approximately 1.5 million electric and gas customers across the US Midwest, including Iowa, Illinois and South Dakota. It said it had invested $14bn in renewable energy projects across Iowa since 2004.

The company said it plans to finance the Wind Prime project itself.

If the proposals are approved, the company estimated it would increase its delivery of renewable energy to its Iowa customers from 88%, currently, to 100%

It also said that completion of the project, “in conjunction with existing non-carbon resources”, would reduce CO2 emissions by 14 million metric tonnes, to 75% of 2005 levels.

Local benefits

The company estimated that the Wind Prime project would create more than a thousand full-time jobs during the construction phase and 125 more for ongoing operations and maintenance (O&M).

It said the project would also pay an average of $24m per year in local property taxes for its turbines and solar facilities and a further $21m, annually, to landowners for the right to build on their land.

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