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Letters to the Editor

Expanding wind energy sources

Wind energy makes Iowa’s power portfolio more reliable, sustainable and is an investment in our long-term success. Wind powers homes, schools and businesses across Iowa, keeping the lights on in the places we know and love.

A growing industry, it’s easy to see the cost of wind power has declined dramatically — by a whopping 69 percent since 2009. It’s been forecasted wind and solar energy projects will be the fastest growing source of electricity generation on the U.S. power grid for the next two years. As of 2019, Iowa has nearly 9,000 megawatts of installed wind energy capacity, enough to power more than 2 million homes. Iowa can continue to be a key place for wind energy growth, enabling utilities to provide customers with better, more reliable, yet sustainable energy.

Renewable energy is unique in its ability to offer fixed-price contracts that are unaffected by volatility. It can be helpful to think of energy contracts like your home mortgage. Interest rates can change year to year, upending your budget. You set up a fixed-rate mortgage, allowing for a pre-determined payment each month and well-thought-out budget for the future. With energy contracts, fuel prices can be volatile due to the market, foreign relations and natural disasters. There is no fuel cost with wind energy and therefore, no fuel price risk.

Additionally, wind power is a driver for economic development in host communities and supports local municipal services that benefit all property owners. Farmers can receive lease payments from hosting wind turbines on their property, bringing in a stable income that can boost them through tough years. On average, farmers across the state receive $20-$30 million dollars a year in land lease payments.

Furthermore, construction workers, wind technicians and all the other folks employed in the process of building and maintaining a wind farms spend their hard earned paychecks at local businesses and restaurants, supporting the main streets of our beloved rural towns.

Iowans can benefit from expanded wind energy sources as it promises affordable, reliable, renewable power and it certainly delivers.

Chaz Allen

Des Moines

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