Thursday, May 18, 2023
DES MOINES, Iowa – May 18, 2023 – Wind PRIME, MidAmerican’s latest proposed renewable energy development project to add 2,042 megawatts of wind energy and 50 megawatts of solar energy to serve the growing energy demands of MidAmerican customers, was approved by the Iowa Utilities Board on April 27. Once developed, the project would allow MidAmerican to provide 100% renewable energy to its Iowa customers annually on an ongoing basis through the GreenAdvantage program and move the company forward on its goal to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
As proposed under a settlement agreement filed with the board in December, the project can be developed at no net cost and would deliver significant benefits to MidAmerican’s customers and the state of Iowa – including an immediate electric rate decrease for all customers and long-term rate stability. Wind PRIME would continue to advance MidAmerican’s proven track record of delivering reliable, affordable and renewable energy, which is an essential component in attracting and retaining businesses in the state, creating a growing and thriving economy.
After reviewing the details of the advance ratemaking principles approved by the Iowa Utilities Board for Wind PRIME, MidAmerican Wednesday filed a motion requesting a modification to better maximize customer benefits. The filing asks the board to instead reconsider the principles proposed under the settlement reached with key customer groups.
“MidAmerican is appreciative of the Iowa Utilities Board’s recognition that Wind PRIME is an incredible opportunity for Iowa and our customers,” Kelcey Brown, MidAmerican’s president and CEO, said. “As the board acknowledged, the time is right to develop Wind PRIME – and doing so under the terms of the original settlement agreement will deliver customers the best outcome.”
“We proudly stand behind the benefits Wind PRIME will deliver for residential, commercial and industrial customers, as well as the benefits that will flow to Iowa’s communities and economy overall,” she continued.
“The community of Fort Dodge has benefitted greatly from the wind and solar energy that MidAmerican has invested in over the last two decades. Businesses are attracted to locations that have the most affordable energy that is also clean and green,” said Dennis Plautz, CEO of Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance, the economic development organization for the area. “Our community supports Wind PRIME because it will deliver more renewable energy and keep rates low – that’s the secret sauce in economic development.”
The settlement agreement was filed jointly by the Office of Consumer Advocate, Iowa Business Energy Coalition and MidAmerican in the Wind PRIME docket. As proposed, it provided additional value to customers to enhance the renewable energy investments proposed as part of Wind PRIME. More than 30 Iowa communities and companies filed letters of support for the terms in the settlement agreement.
“As the most sustainable steel producer in the United States, SSAB Americas is proud to operate in Iowa and put the renewable energy generated by MidAmerican to good use in our manufacturing processes,” Sean Keenan, vice president, supply chain at SSAB Americas, said. “The benefits from Wind PRIME are critical to our future growth in Iowa.”
In addition to the short and long-term benefits on customer rates, the settlement agreement included performance guarantees that ensure customers receive the most efficient and cost-effective generation for the renewable projects that are part of Wind PRIME and a resource evaluation study component that provides participants an opportunity to engage in an assessment of the generation needed in the future to continue to deliver reliable, affordable and sustainable energy in a changing energy landscape.
Under its rules, the IUB has 30 days to respond to the motion for reconsideration.