Wind projects to get boost from stimulus - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Wind projects to get boost from stimulus


Among the $789 billion in the federal stimulus plan, about $150 billion is planned for roads, broadband and clean energy.

It could mean more wind power projects in Iowa.

One project helped by the stimulus plan is currently under construction in Bremer County.

Waverly Light & Power is installing two wind turbines to power more than 500 homes.

"The beauty of our wind turbines is they are directly connected into our grid system and the power offsets what we have to purchase so it goes directly to our customers," said Waverly Light & Power General Manager Diane Johnson.

Wind turbines are part of the municipal utility's strategy to have its system 20% renewable by the year 2020.

Another wind turbine currently turns to the northwest of the construction site near Bremer.

It's been there since 2001.

State leaders point to wind energy as Iowa's future.

It's already 2nd in the nation with more wind farms in the works.

The federal stimulus plan may only help build more wind projects.

"It has great benefit for companies that are taxable. As a municipal utility, we don't pay taxes. However, there was increased funding for renewable energy bonds and we actually used those bonds on these turbines and we got a very low interest rate," said Johnson.

While the weather may be unusually warm and sunny , one problem holding up the project Thursday was the wind. It's too windy to put those parts together so crews will have to come back once it dies down.

The power company says it's already discovered wind energy is reliable.

Now, with more money possibly available to harness renewable energy, more blades may be on the way to a hillside near you.

Online Reporter:  Bob Waters

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