The wind turbines that dot the landscape of rural areas all across Iowa will soon be closer to home.
Construction will begin on wind energy structures in O'Brien County as soon as next week.
"Typically when we do projects we look at the wind resource, how good is the wind, how good is the transmission, is the community supportive, and O'Brien County fits all three of those to a tee," Kevin Parzyck, Vice President of Development for the central region of Invenergy said.
Invenergy, a clean energy company based in Chicago, has teamed up with MidAmerican energy to create a 500 megawatt wind project across O'Brien county. The project will be entirely funded by MidAmerican, who says the process will create nearly 300 construction jobs in the area through 2015. They need the approval and property of the landowners to make it happen.
"We always tell people it's your decision if you want to have a wind turbine on your property. Just evaluate whether or not it makes sense for you and your family. We tend to believe that it's in the best interest of the county and landowners long-term," Adam Wright, Vice President of Wind Energy for MidAmerican said.
MidAmerican Energy decided to team up with Invenergy a month ago as a part of a goal to create one thousand and fifty megawatts of wind energy across Iowa.
"This represents a significant cornerstone for that project," Wright said.
While some landowners in O'Brien County are still tentative, MidAmerican works on projects like this regularly and is used to the concern. They did their best to combat them preemptively.
"About six or seven percent of the nation's wind capacity is owned and operated by us, so we're very familiar with the process of obtaining the permits we need, the landowner buy-in that we need, and the county support," Wright said.
Invenergy is excited about the potential offered by the land, the partnership with MidAmerican, and the people.
"Not everybody always agrees with it, but this has been a very good community to work in. We're very excited to be working here," Parzyck said.
Several people did speak up against the project at today's meeting. They declined to comment.
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