MidAmerican Energy, a power company based in the US, has made bids for a renewables mega-project in Iowa. The project, named Wind Prime, would comprise 2,042 MW of wind power and 50 MW of solar power with an investment of $3.9 billion. The proposed wind farms would have a 40-year lifespan, while the solar farms would have a 30-year lifespan.
MidAmerican intends to conclude construction in late 2024 if the project is approved. By 2025, the project would be able to meet 111 percent of MidAmerican customers’ yearly energy needs. It would also cover the following decade’s worth of energy demand. In addition, feasibility studies on small modular nuclear reactors, carbon capture and sequestration, and energy storage are included in the proposal. The corporation, however, provides scant details about what they would entail.
As per the company’s statement, during construction, Wind Prime is expected to provide 1,100 full-time jobs and 125 permanent jobs. Wind Prime would also pay more than $24 million in property taxes and $21 million in annual landowner easement payments. The project would save 15 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents if completed. MidAmerican provides power to 795,000 people in Iowa, Illinois, and South Dakota. After producing about 88 per cent renewable energy in 2021, it aspires to reach 100 per cent renewable power.
REGlobal’s Views: Various US utilities are increasingly expanding their renewable energy capacity and becoming greener. As MidAmerican Energy moves towards 100 per cent renewable power, it will become equally important to have adequate grid balancing resources.