Delaware Co. getting first wind farm - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Delaware Co. getting first wind farm

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EDGEWOOD (KWWL) -- Construction started this week on the first wind farm in Delaware County.

Plans call for the facility to be up and running by October.

"I think it's a good thing for all of us," landowner Bob Philipp said. "I think there's going to be an influx of income for people around here."

He said he's looking forward to a new farm and isn't concerned about putting some of his farmland out of commission during construction of the wind energy generation facility.

"Next year there'll be more ground for the building and construction part of it, kind of lay things out, but after that's done, it'll be minimal," he said. "I can't make the money putting it in crops what they're going to give me for it to use."

He said the ownership company, RPM Access, will be paying his between $5,000 and $6,000 per turbine per year, in addition to easement payments for construction and road access.

RPM Access is a company that develops wind energy generation facilities, but this is the first one it will also own and operate.

"The landowners are all going to get an easement payment for the use of their land and easements, and we also have the property taxes that we'll be paying to the county," RPM Access president Stephen Dryden said.

The energy will go to Central Iowa Power Cooperative (CIPCO), which has a 20-year power purchase agreement with this RPM Access facility.

"It's probably enough to serve around 14,000 homes over a year's time," CIPCO risk management director Jerry Barker said, though he said that only gives an idea of the facility's energy output potential, since, "it only generates when the wind blows."

Still, the facility means another step toward sustainability for Iowa, as well as more jobs for the area.

"Job base will be about 50 construction workers, and then it will be two to three long-term operational jobs and a couple management jobs," Dryden said.

In an April report, the American Wind Energy Association placed Iowa second in the nation for wind power production.

Online Reporter: Becca Habegger

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