Science & Technology
Efforts to add 1,050 megawatts of wind generation in Iowa by year-end 2015 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Science & Technology
Written by Various   
Thursday, 09 May 2013 14:43
Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Senator Chuck Grassley today commented on the announcement by MidAmerican Energy Company that it plans to seek authority to add up to 1,050 megawatts of wind generation in Iowa by year-end 2015, which would include up to 656 new wind turbines.

Grassley comment:

“Continued investment in wind-energy production emphasizes the value and success of the federal production tax credit.  Wind energy has proven that it’s a force in America’s energy supply, providing clean, renewable, and home-grown power.  Wind energy comes from local farms, it’s for local customers and, most often, it adds investment value to local communities.”

Background information:

A Grassley amendment to the Energy Policy Act of 1992 established the production tax credit for wind energy.  The idea behind Senator Grassley’s proposal was to try to level the playing field with coal-fired and nuclear electricity generation.  Today, the wind-energy industry supports 75,000 jobs nationwide.  Iowa ranks second among every state for wind production, and there are 6,000 wind-energy related jobs in Iowa.  Under the wind-energy production tax credit, which Senator Grassley has worked successfully to extend numerous times, producers are eligible for a tax credit for each kilowatt-hour of electricity produced by a qualified project during the first 10 years of operations.  Right now, the tax credit is 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour.  This tax credit is available only when wind energy is produced, so it’s tax relief that rewards results.

Loebsack Statement on MidAmerican’s Announcement of a $1.9 Billion Investment in Wind Energy

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack released the following statement today after MidAmerican Energy announced they will be investing $1.9 billion in wind energy infrastructure in Iowa.  Loebsack has long supported wind energy production and led the way in the House to renew the Production Tax Credit for wind energy.  Last year he was named a USA Wind Champion by the American Wind Energy Association.

“Iowa is already a leader in wind energy production and today’s announcement by MidAmerican Energy that they will be investing an additional $1.9 billion is great news for the state.  The wind industry creates good paying jobs in local communities and this announcement will create new jobs in addition to the over 7,000 Iowans who are already employed in the industry.  I am pleased this investment will help strengthen not only Iowa's leadership in wind energy but also create homegrown and affordable energy for Iowans and continue to grow our manufacturing sector in the state.”

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MidAmerican Energy Announces $1.9 Billion Investment in Additional Wind Generation Capacity PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Science & Technology
Written by Tina Potthoff   
Thursday, 09 May 2013 14:40
(DES MOINES) – MidAmerican Energy Company is announcing its plans to add up to 1,050 megawatts of wind generation, consisting of up to 656 new wind turbines, in Iowa by year-end 2015. The wind expansion will enhance economic development and provide in excess of $360 million in additional property tax revenues over the next 30 years. Landowner payments totaling $3.2 million per year also are expected as a result of the expansion. In addition, the expansion is planned to be built at no net cost to the company’s customers and will help stabilize electric rates over the long term by providing a rate reduction totaling $10 million per year by 2017, commencing with a $3.3 million reduction in 2015.

Gov. Terry Branstad, a champion for wind energy in Iowa, commented on the proposal. “As a leader in wind generation, the state of Iowa welcomes the opportunity to expand our renewable energy portfolio. MidAmerican Energy’s proposed project will be the largest economic development investment in the history of the state, bringing needed jobs to Iowa, as well as significant economic benefits.”

Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds reiterated that message. “MidAmerican Energy has been a long-standing partner with the state of Iowa, and we look forward to working with them on this wind proposal. In addition to helping boost our state and local economies, the expansion would create approximately 460 construction jobs over a two-year period and an estimated 48 permanent jobs in our state.”

Greg Abel, chairman, president and CEO of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company – the parent company of MidAmerican Energy – recognized and thanked Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds for their unwavering support of renewable energy in Iowa.

“The administration has continued its focus on creating an environment that allows for significant investment in Iowa, and we are pleased to be working hand in hand with them to grow our state and create good jobs,” said Abel.

Abel further thanked Iowa’s congressional delegation for their strong support of the production tax credit extension.

“Iowa’s congressional delegation created the opportunity for this investment through their support at the federal level and continued an environment that makes this type of investment possible,” said Abel.

MidAmerican Energy began building wind projects in 2004. To date, 1,267 wind turbines have been installed in Iowa, representing a total investment of approximately $4 billion. In light of the recent federal production tax credit extension, the company is asking to expand its wind generation capacity to enhance its renewables portfolio. MidAmerican Energy estimates that by January 2016, when all new wind generation is expected to be operating, it may be capable of generating approximately 39 percent of its retail generation output through wind generation during that month.

“The proposed wind expansion will not only add to MidAmerican Energy’s and Iowa’s position as a national leader in wind generation capacity, it will help reduce future rates to our customers by as much as $10 million per year and further enhance our corporate principle of environmental respect by reducing our carbon footprint by 10.3 percent,” said Bill Fehrman, president and CEO, MidAmerican Energy.

If the expansion is approved by the Iowa Utilities Board, MidAmerican Energy will own and operate approximately 3,335 megawatts of wind generation capacity in Iowa by year-end 2015. Currently, MidAmerican Energy owns and operates approximately 2,285 megawatts of wind generation capacity in Iowa and is No. 1 in the U.S. for ownership of wind generation capacity among rate-regulated utilities.

MidAmerican Energy Company, Iowa’s largest energy company, provides electric service to 734,000 customers and natural gas service to 714,000 customers in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and South Dakota. It is headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa. Information about MidAmerican Energy is available on the company’s website and its Twitter, Facebook and YouTube pages, which can be accessed via www.midamericanenergy.com<http://www.midamericanenergy.com>.

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Grassley urges Administration to consider formal protest of European Commission action against U.S. ethanol exports PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Science & Technology
Written by Grassley Press   
Tuesday, 30 April 2013 14:44

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

WASHINGTON – Senator Chuck Grassley has signed onto a letter urging the U.S. Trade Representative and the Acting Secretary of Commerce to consider initiating a challenge at the World Trade Organization regarding the recent decision by the European Commission to impose an anti-dumping duty on exports of ethanol from the United States.

“The administration ought to take a very aggressive position against this penalty because of the way it violates trade law standards and practices that are well established,” Grassley said.  “What’s happened is an unfair trade practice, and the negative impact on the U.S. renewable energy industry is already measurable.”

The penalty is “unprecedented” with the Commission’s “failure to make any particular finding of dumping by any producer or marketer investigated in connection with the case,” wrote the bipartisan group of 15 senators led by Senators John Thune and Amy Klobuchar.  “We believe this rule sets dangerous precedent for trade and trade remedies in advance of the well-publicized state of important trade talks between the United States and the European Union, and will dramatically and unilaterally change the boundaries and limits of international dumping law,” they wrote.

In addition to trade case precedent that has required findings of actual dumping, the senators’ letter said there isn’t an adequate finding by the European Commission that any injury was suffered in the European ethanol industry, noting it is another requirement of international anti-dumping trade law.

Certain member states of the European Union represent significant export markets for U.S. ethanol producers.  In 2012, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands represented the second and fourth largest importers of importers of U.S. ethanol.

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Governor Quinn Announces New Human Services Digital Record System Saves Time and Resources PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Science & Technology
Written by Leslie Wertheimer   
Monday, 29 April 2013 14:26

Will Eliminate Seven Million Documents per Year and Reduce Client Response Time from Days to Seconds

CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today announced a new digital record system at the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) that will eliminate more than seven million documents per year is already reducing response times for client service from days to seconds. The announcement is part of Governor Quinn’s commitment to reduce government waste and save taxpayer money.

"Our human services caseworkers can best serve their customers by spending time with them, not battling wasteful paperwork,” Governor Quinn said. “This system will allow us to increase accountability while eliminating millions of pieces of paper from the process, helping our caseworkers focus on the needs of their clients.”

DHS is using IBM software to digitize three forms critical to the benefit eligibility determination process: calculation sheets, the combined application form and the chronological record of case processing. Digitizing these forms will eliminate more than seven million pieces of paper annually. With the new system, these forms are electronically filed, which produces an immediate paper savings. It also eliminates the need to wade through more than 100 million pieces of paper stored in case files at local offices and warehouses throughout the state when case workers need to retrieve and update information.

“This solution is an excellent example of state government and private industry working together to develop strategies for maximizing our limited resources,” DHS Secretary Michelle R.B. Saddler said. “Just as important, it helps us streamline our local offices and improve efficiency, which in turn enhances the workplace, employee morale and service to our customers.” 

The IBM system cost $325,000 but paid for itself in just three months with the savings that were realized from its use by more than 2,000 DHS caseworkers. Caseworkers input information into the system and the system automatically determines program eligibility and stores the electronic forms in a central repository for later retrieval. Caseworker time spent retrieving information has gone from days to just seconds, which has been a big boost to customer service.

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Explore the Amazing World of Insects this summer PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Science & Technology
Written by Amanda Heitz   
Thursday, 25 April 2013 13:05

Join us this summer at Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Scott County as weexplore the amazing world of insects in “Insectaganza!” our 4-H Clover Kids summer program.Youth ages five through nine will closely investigate insects such as crickets, butterflies and ladybugs to learn how they communicate, eat, grow, and survive in their natural habitats. Please note that 5 year olds must have completed kindergarten during the 2012-2013 school year.

Registration is on a first come, first served basis. Families can chose from a Monday group or a Wednesday group. Both groups will meet from 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. for eight weeks beginning the week of June 10, 2013. The program costs $10.00 for new 4-H Clover Kids. For more information and to print the registration forms visit http://www.extension.iastate.edu/scott orcontact Jodi at (563) 359-7577 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
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