MidAmerican moves forward with wind expansion - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

MidAmerican moves forward with wind expansion

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

MidAmerican Energy will move forward with plans for a major expansion in its production of wind energy.

On Friday, The Iowa Supreme Court upheld a 2009 decision by the Iowa Utilities Board that allows MidAmerican to raise customers rates in the future. That increase would help pay for a huge wind energy project that would be completed by the end of this year.

A company official says no decision has been made yet on increasing rates.

In a 5-0 ruling, the court said the board's decision was based on "substantial evidence" the expansion would reduce emissions, diversify the fuel supply, promote economic development and maintain reasonable prices for customers.

As for the new wind turbines, MidAmerican Spokesperson Tim Grabinski says,"there were a series of them done in 2011 and those were built in Adair, Adams, Cass, Marshall, Pocahontas, and Calhoun and in 2012 we are building another 470 megawatts of wind generation and they will be located in Marshall, Tama, Guthrie, Audubon, and Adair." 

The court rejected a challenge by NextEra Energy Resources, a rival who argued MidAmerican didn't demonstrate need for extra capacity and didn't properly consider other alternatives.

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