News Release from Power Up Iowa
Participants hold press conference to highlight economic benefits of wind energy in the state
Ankeny, IA — Today, Governor Kim Reynolds, Lt. Governor Adam Gregg joined state business and civic leaders to launch Power Up Iowa, a statewide coalition of renewable energy supporters advocating for local, state and federal policies that grow wind energy investments in Iowa.
“Iowa is a leader in wind energy, and we’re witnessing its positive impact across the state,” said Governor Kim Reynolds. “Supporting wind in Iowa has led to educational opportunities, job creation, and investment in rural communities. It’s also helped us attract companies like Facebook, Apple, Google and Microsoft due to our low-cost renewable energy.”
“Iowa is a great place to do business, in part due to the investment and infrastructure for renewable energy,” said Matt Sexton, Community Development Regional Manager for Facebook. “We are thrilled to call Iowa home and support our data center operations with 100 percent renewable energy.”
Participants in the press conference discussed the positive impact that wind energy has had on Iowa’s workforce — including as it relates to Governor Reynolds’ Future Ready Iowa initiative — as well as the positive impact it has on farmers, rural communities and the environment.
Participants also emphasized the need for Iowa to renew its commitment to leading the charge on renewable energy and discuss ways to power Iowa’s economic future through the success of the wind industry. Several decades ago, Iowa took the lead on implementing a plan to harness the power of wind.
Years later, the state’s economy has accelerated as wind farms, manufacturing facilities, and educational programs have been created across the state.
“According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, wind technician is America’s second fastest growing job,” said Scott Ocken, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of Industry & Technology at DMACC. “At DMACC, we educate our students to become wind technicians.
Our program serves as one of the many educational opportunities available to our future generations to capitalize on what wind has to offer. Providing these programs at colleges and universities in Iowa helps us attract and keep Iowa graduates in our state.”
Today, Iowans can be proud that the state is a national leader in wind energy and has more installed wind capacity than any state besides Texas.
“Iowans should be proud to call our state a national leader in wind energy,” said Senator Joni Ernst. “Not only does wind energy power our homes and businesses, but it also helps power our economy. Iowa’s all-of-the-above approach to energy and our investments in renewable energy benefit the environment and provide consumers with affordable electricity. I’m honored to support and be a part of the efforts to keep wind energy growing right here in Iowa.”
However, there is still work to do as we build a 21st century clean energy economy. The coalition’s goal is to shape the discussion on the way forward and drive support for the clean, reliable and affordable energy that will power Iowa’s future.
By educating, raising awareness, and participating in conversations with the state’s leaders, Power Up Iowa will make the case for continued growth in wind power, which creates jobs and new economic opportunities for families and businesses across the state.
“An investment in wind power is an investment in Iowa’s workforce,” said Jay Byers, CEO of the Greater Des Moines Partnership. “Wind energy has played a role in our success here in the Des Moines metro to attract companies to locate here and attract young talent who place a high personal value on clean energy. This is one of the factors fueling our thriving tech startup community helping us keep and attract the next generation of leaders.”
The state’s ability to attract new renewable energy investments will greatly influence future prospects and economic potential. Wind energy will be key to building a modern economy in Iowa. Updating and expanding the infrastructure is a key part of building that modern economy.
Creating a better networked system will increase access to renewable energy while driving down electricity costs and increasing reliability.
“Wind energy is a huge economic driver in Iowa,” said Senator Chuck Grassley. “It creates thousands of jobs, provides a predictable financial stream for farmers and is revitalizing rural communities across the Midwest. Wind energy is a clean, efficient and cost-effective part of America’s all-of-the-above energy strategy and helps ensure the nation’s energy dominance and independence. I’m grateful every day to be able to work on behalf of Iowans and Iowa wind
energy in the United States Senate.”
Power Up Iowa is an initiative of the American Wind Energy Association and is comprised of more than 60 leaders from various sectors including the wind industry, business, education and local government.
Visit www.powerupiowa.com for more information.
Facts on Wind Energy in Iowa:
- Iowa ranks second in the nation in installed wind capacity (8,422 megawatts) and is a
leader in wind manufacturing production.
- Iowa generates over a third (37 percent) of its electricity using wind power.
- Wind currently serves as the number one source of renewable energy, making Iowa a
truly renewable energy powerhouse.
- Iowa produces enough wind energy to power 1,935,000 homes.
- Between 7,000-8,000 Iowans have wind-related careers.
- Wind technician is America’s second fastest growing job according to the U.S. Bureau of
- Iowa’s farmers are paid $20-25 million in lease payments a year for hosting wind
turbines on their property.
- In 2017 alone, Iowa was able to avoid 4.8 billion gallons of water consumption and 8.8
million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions due to wind energy as an alternative.
- A new study by the U.S. Energy Information Administration forecasts that wind and solar
energy projects will be the fastest growing source of new generation on the U.S. power
grid for the next two years (12-14%).
- Governor Kim Reynolds
- Lt. Governor Adam Gregg
- Scott Ocken, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of Industry & Technology, DMACC
- Jay Byers, CEO, Greater Des Moines Partnership
- Dan Culhane, President & CEO, Ames Chamber of Commerce
- Matthew Sexton, Community Development Regional Manager, Facebook
- Students from DMACC’s Applied Engineering Technology-Wind Turbine Technologies program
About Power Up Iowa
Power Up Iowa is a statewide coalition of renewable energy supporters advocating for local,
state and federal policies that bring wind energy investment into Iowa. By educating, raising
awareness, and participating in conversations with our state’s leaders, Power Up Iowa will make
the case for continued wind power growth, which will create jobs and new economic
opportunities for families and businesses across the state.
The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is the national trade association for the U.S.
wind industry. With thousands of wind industry members and wind policy advocates, AWEA
promotes wind energy as a clean source of electricity for American consumers.