United States

United States

Iowa Victory

The Iowa utility IES Inc of Cedar Rapids made futile attempts to avoid all contracts with wind energy. Regulators prevented this.

A bid by Iowa's second largest utility to quash wind energy development has been turned down by regulators. IES Inc of Cedar Rapids had asked the Iowa State Utilities Board to allow it to leave any contract with an alternative energy developer, even though the development had been mandated by the state. The legislature has ordered the state's three investor owned utilities to bring on 105 MW of alternative energy production, of which IES would have to develop about 33 MW. "It was surprising. [The Iowa State Utilities Board] did not even set it for a hearing," says John Sayler of the Iowa Wind Energy Association, referring to the decision made by the regulators. "They rejected it out of hand." He says the utilities had been hoping to delay wind for several months. "This is not really a favourite energy resource in Iowa," he says of the utilities' view of wind.

The first major wind project to be installed by Midwest Developers Inc -- a wind development company which includes Zond Systems Inc -- will probably be 20 Zond Z-40 wind turbines installed near the town of Alta. No contract with IES has been signed yet, but Zond hopes construction will occur in 1995, says the company's Bob Gates.

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