k0147 BC-IA-IowaWindPower 1stLd-Writethru 04-02 0445

Iowa tops nation in percentage of electricity from wind

Eds: ADDS details, quotes.


Associated Press Writer

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A leading wind energy trade group said Wednesday that Iowa now leads all other states in the percentage of electricity generated by wind power.


The American Wind Energy Association said in its "Annual Rankings Report" that Iowa generates 5.5 percent of all electricity from wind turbines. That leads Minnesota, which is at 4.6 percent, New Mexico at 3.9 percent and Oregon at 3.5 percent.

Iowa remains fourth in the nation in wind capacity. Texas, California and Minnesota generate more megawatts of electricity from wind. Minnesota edges out Iowa by just 28 megawatts, however.

Iowa generates 1,271 megawatts of electricity from wind turbines.

One megawatt of wind power produces enough electricity on average to power 250 to 300 homes, the group said.

Iowa has five major wind generation manufacturers in the state and dozens of other companies providing wind turbine parts. The state has aggressively worked to expand wind energy production and adds jobs in the wind energy sector in recent months.

"I’ve made growing the wind industry in Iowa a top priority for my administration, and our investment is paying off for Iowans with hundreds of green collar jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars invested in our communities," said Gov. Chet Culver.

The AWEA report said General Electric Co. division GE Energy is the leading manufacturer of wind turbines with 1,560 installed followed by Vestas Wind Systems A/S, Siemens AG, Gamesa Wind US, and Mitsubishi Power Systems Inc.

The largest turbines in the United States are Vestas machines installed in California and Texas and have rated capacity of 3 megawatts. Five states including Iowa have 2.5 megawatt turbines, the second largest manufactured by Clipper Windpower Inc. and Nordex AG.


Other facts in the report:

—Xcel Energy Inc. is the investor owned utility distributing the most power from wind at 2,635 megawatts purchased or owned. Des Moines-based MidAmerican Energy Co. is second with 1,201 megawatts.

—FPL Energy is the largest managing owner of wind power projects with 5,076 megawatts under managing ownership. MidAmerican is fifth with 933 megawatts.

The group said total installed U.S. wind power capacity surpassed 16,800 megawatts in 2007, or enough to serve the equivalent of 4.5 million average homes.


On the Net: American Wind Energy Association:

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