Tuesday May 12 2020
Renewable energy comprised 61.3% of the electricity MidAmerican Energy delivered to Iowa customers in 2019
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- News Release
DES MOINES, Iowa – (May 12, 2020) – Renewable sources, mostly through wind energy, supplied 61.3% of the energy that MidAmerican Energy delivered to its Iowa customers last year, the Iowa Utilities Board verified in an order issued Thursday.
The measure is a 19%, or 10 percentage point, gain from a year earlier. It reflects the amount of renewable generation, as a percent of total retail energy delivered, that MidAmerican provided to its customers in Iowa in 2019. In 2018 the percentage was 51.4.
“We’re making significant inroads in our quest to provide 100% renewable energy annually to our customers,” Adam Wright, MidAmerican Energy president and CEO, said. “We continue to work hard every day on expanding our wind energy infrastructure,” Wright added. “We’re adding wind generation at no net cost to our customers while still providing reliable energy at some of the lowest rates in the country.”
MidAmerican leads nation in new wind generation
Last year, MidAmerican led the nation in wind project installations by adding more than a 1,000 megawatts of new capacity, according to the American Wind Energy Association. AWEA further reports that MidAmerican’s wind farms helped make wind energy the number one source of electricity generation in Iowa in 2019. Also last year, MidAmerican helped Iowa lead the nation in the percent of electricity generated by wind energy.
“Despite all that has changed this year, what hasn’t changed is our commitment to providing our customers with more and more renewable energy,” Wright said. “We remain focused on safely delivering clean energy to our customers.”
MidAmerican Energy’s GreenAdvantage program, which the company provides to all Iowa customers at no additional cost, assures all customers across the state that a significant part of their electricity comes from renewable energy – 61.3% in 2019.
The program enables businesses to claim the verified percentage of energy they received, which helps companies meet sustainability goals. Wind energy is a zero-carbon and zero-water electricity source.
In addition to providing clean energy at no net cost to its customers, MidAmerican’s wind energy provides significant economic benefits, particularly to rural Iowa. Through last year, MidAmerican has cumulatively invested $11.9 billion in wind energy.
In 2019, the company paid $26.3 million in property taxes. County property taxes help pay for schools, roads and bridges, and county medical services.
Additionally, MidAmerican paid rural landowners $30.9 million through lease payments, helping these landowners weather this year’s extreme economic volatility.
Wind turbine technician: 2nd fastest-growing job
MidAmerican’s wind energy projects currently employ hundreds of people across the state, both in short-term construction and long-term operations and maintenance jobs. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a wind turbine technician is the country’s second fastest-growing job in the nation. Additionally, according to the agency, those technicians earned an annual mean wage of $57,510 in Iowa in 2019, exceeding the median wage for all occupations in Iowa last year, which was $47,330.