As an aside, western Iowa is a great place to find wind. Just imagine how great it could be if Steve King were home all the time. One more reason to vote for Joyce Schulte.
Anyway, environmentally this is great news. Everyone loves renewable energy, and many of us love it even more when we can have a conversation about renewable energy without it starting and ending with ethanol. The problem is the lost potential. From the Register story:
The new turbines, to be constructed by enXco Development Corp., will generate 123 megawatts of energy.
EnXco Development Corp. is based in Minneapolis. I haven't been able to find out where they get the materials for their turbines. But certainly, the manufacture and installation of almost 150 turbines in 3 counties in western Iowa could have been an economic development boon for these three counties. Instead, MidAmerican Energy's investment is going to a company in Minnesota.
Renewable energy can be a key economic development asset across rural Iowa. But it won't be if we continue to let MidAmerican Energy control it.