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Local

Sen. Ernst receives ‘U.S. Wind Champion Award’

Senator earns recognition from AWEA for advancing Iowa cash crop: wind energy

Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA awards the U.S. Wind Champion Award to Senator Joni Ernst, R-Iowa.
Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA awards the U.S. Wind Champion Award to Senator Joni Ernst, R-Iowa.

WASHINGTON, D.C. —Senator Joni Ernst has been recognized as a U.S. Wind Champion by the American Wind Energy Association. AWEA presents U.S. Wind Champion Awards to members of Congress from both parties who show consistent and strong leadership in support of the American wind industry and the jobs it creates.

“Iowa is a leader in wind energy production, producing 37 percent of our electricity using wind. The industry is boosting our economy and creating jobs and new business opportunities across the state. In places like Newton, wind has created new manufacturing jobs, and at Iowa Lakes Community College, we’re training the next generation of wind technicians. I’m honored to receive the Wind Champion Award; let’s keep developing this great energy source,” said Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa.

“We’re honored to recognize Senator Ernst as a U.S. Wind Champion. Her steadfast support for wind power and Iowa’s wind workers contributes to the robust industry growth we see today,” Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA, said. “And because wind farms generate reliable revenue for neighboring landowners and communities, the Senator’s wind power leadership also directly strengthens Iowa’s farming economy.”

In 2017, wind farms generated 37 percent of the electricity produced in Iowa, a larger share than any other state. Looking ahead, Iowa wind power is poised to grow substantially with over 4,000 megawatts of new wind power capacity under construction and in advanced development, according to AWEA’s most recent quarterly market report.

Wind power employs nearly 8,000 Iowa workers and the state’s wind industry represents over $14.2 billion in private investment. For Iowa farmers, wind energy is a drought-proof cash crop generating land lease payments totaling $20-25 million each year. As wind power continues to grow in Iowa, the state will see these economic benefits expand.

The U.S. is a global leader in wind power thanks to world-class natural resources and technological innovation. For Americans across the country, wind power leadership translates to economic opportunity, homegrown energy, and cleaner air. A record 105,000 Americans work in wind power, affordably and reliably supplying over 6 percent of U.S. electricity. Using more wind power reduces air pollution, saving Americans an estimated $8 billion each year in healthcare costs.

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