midamerican wind farm

Photo from MidAmerican Energy Facebook page.

MidAmerican Energy this week has announced $1.5 billion in planned new wind power investment, including $900 million to build 552 megawatts of new capacity in Iowa. And that state’s Republican governor, Terry Branstad, couldn’t be more pleased.

“Iowa derives a greater percentage of its electricity from wind than any other state, and we’re second in the nation in the number of people employed in the wind industry. Thanks to our low electricity prices and commitment to renewable energy, major tech companies and other energy-intensive businesses are interested in locating and expanding facilities here, which is good economic news for all Iowans.” – Gov. Terry Brandstad, in the Des Moines Register

Those companies, the Register noted, include Google, Facebook and Microsoft, all of which “have cited affordable energy, much of it from renewable energy, as key to billions of dollars invested in large data centers in Iowa.” MidAmerican, meanwhile, said the wind expansion would help keep it ahead of anticipated carbon emission limits.

“Once the proposed projects are completed, we’re projecting that 57 percent of our total retail load could be served with energy from these turbines,” CEO Bill Fehrman said. “This puts us in a strong position to comply with future carbon emissions limits without placing the significant financial burden of that compliance on our customers.”

MidAmerican is owned by Berkshire Hathaway, the Warren Buffett-led company that’s holding its annual meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, this weekend.