MidAmerican Begins Repowering Hundreds of Wind Turbines

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URBANDALE, Iowa -- MidAmerican Energy Company has taken on a major wind energy project that includes repowering hundreds of older wind turbines.

They've started upgrading wind farms in several counties including Carroll, Crawford, Wright and Hamilton.

MidAmerican Energy Vice President of Generation Spencer Moore said many of the wind turbines they are currently working on were put in between 2004 and 2005.

Moore said they are hoping to finish repowering over 200 wind turbines by the end of 2017 and finish repowering all 706 by 2020.

The repowered turbines will have longer blades than the existing ones which will extend the life of the turbines and increase the amount of energy produced.

"We expect to generate more energy with the existing assets we have in the wind fleet. Generally we predict about 19 to 28 percent more wind energy per machine once we get the repower done. So that will help us displace some of the coal fired assets and gas fired assets in our fleet from serving our customers," Moore said.

Moore added, wind energy has no fuel costs so repowering will help keep overall energy costs low for Iowa customers in addition to helping the environment.

"Generally in Iowa we have a pretty good wind resource. On a windy day, the machines generate about one and a half megawatts per machine. So generally that's enough to power several thousand households with that energy," Moore said.

In addition to repowering old turbines, MidAmerican is building a new wind farm in Boone

Both of these projects are a part of the MidAmerican Energy Company 100% Renewable Energy Vision.