Need infrastructure to export energy

The Gazette Opinion Staff
Published: March 29 2014 | 11:35 am - Updated: 1 April 2014 | 10:18 am in

Regarding Steve Licht’s March 24 guest column, “Preserve stability of reliable Iowa energy”:

Iowa exports many things, from corn to soybeans to hogs and cattle. By exporting wind power, Iowa can add another cash crop to its economic balance sheet.

Private investment in Iowa wind power exceeds $9.8 billion and that investment has caused a ripple effect in manufacturing and technology, too. With companies such as MidAmerican announcing last year investments of nearly $2 billion on new wind power, and tech giants Google, Microsoft and Facebook setting up shop here to take advantage of our abundance of wind energy, it seems as though we’ve got a good thing going.

Like roads, railways and airports, transmission projects are an important part of our infrastructure. In order to make money off our exports, we must have a way to bring them to market. For wind power, that means transmission to carry this clean, dependable resource to where it is most needed.

Iowans have a golden opportunity to capitalize on a resource that provides jobs, tax revenues and another source of income for farmers.

Wind energy represents a win-win for Iowans. By selling it to our neighbors, we open up another important revenue stream, ensuring we can continue to reinvest in our own communities.

Mike Prior

Executive director

Iowa Wind Energy Association

Milford

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