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Wind Turbines Spinning in Iowa, But Who WIll Buy Their Power?

Dec 14, 2012
Source: 
(Wisconsin State Journal)

The 60 turbines at the Franklin County wind farm in north-central Iowa — Alliant Energy Corp.'s latest wind installation — started spinning on Tuesday, ready to send enough power to the electric transmission grid to serve 25,000 homes.

But they may not be used much, at least for now, since no utility company has opted to buy the power on a regular basis, not even Alliant's own.

About four years ago, Madison-based Alliant bought enough turbines to produce up to 500 megawatts of electricity under optimal wind conditions from Vestas, a Danish manufacturer.

Most of the 303 turbines were installed at the Bent Tree wind farm in Minnesota, serving Wisconsin Power & Light, and the Whispering Willow wind farm in Iowa, serving Interstate Power & Light, Alliant's Iowa utility subsidiary. But there were leftovers.