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Local

Jasper County recognized for Wind Energy Leadership

Iowa continues to lead the nation as several coveted awards were distributed at the state and county level during American Wind Week

Iowa has many achievements to celebrate at the local, state and national levels as Gov. Kim Reynolds proclaimed Aug. 9-15 American Wind Week.

Ranked first in the nation for percentage of electricity generated by wind, Iowa once again surfaces in the national spotlight for its clean energy leadership. The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) recognized Reynolds with the 2020 U.S. Wind Champion Award during recent a virtual event and also recognized Jasper County for its local leadership.

This marked the launch of the Iowa Wind County Seal Program and the first time that AWEA has selected Governors to receive the honor among the select group of bipartisan leaders who embrace a forward-thinking approach to energy policy.

“The wind industry is critical to Iowa’s continued economic development, employing nearly 10,000 Iowans and providing affordable, reliable energy to all,” Reynolds said. “We are proud to be a leader in harnessing wind energy, making up 42% of our in-state electricity generation. I am honored to receive AWEA’s Wind Champion Award and look forward to further developing this Iowa industry.”

Jasper County is among many counties across Iowa to have harnessed the power of wind energy as an opportunity to stimulate their local communities.

AWEA, in conjunction with Reynolds, launched the Iowa Wind County Seal Program in which eighteen counties were awarded with a gold, silver, or bronze seal in recognition of their leadership to embrace the wind industry and the economic benefits it has to offer. The following counties seized on the opportunity to be a part of wind energy’s success and are building the future through job creation, power generation, and education.

• Gold county seal recipients:Cass, Emmett, Ida, Jasper, Lee, Mitchell, O’Brien

• Silver county seal recipients: Buena Vista, Carroll, Cherokee, Grundy, Linn, Marshall, Osceola, Sac, Story, Worth

• Bronze county seal recipient:Fayette

As wind energy continues to grow across the state and the country, Jasper County is helping lead the charge on educating future generations.

Wind farms serve as a much-needed cash crop for rural communities in Iowa, providing $69 million in annual land lease payments and generating $61 million in state and local tax payments in 2019 alone, spurring development of schools, infrastructure and public safety.

Now representing Iowa’s largest source of electricity generation, wind projects have also attracted nearly $19 billion dollars in investments.

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