GE Wind, Flying High, Fears Hard Landing

Apparently the 1.6-100 isn’t meant for every location, however: In a small deal out of Iowa, GE said 180 “community members” bought shares in eight 1.6-82.5 turbines that will provide a total of 12.6 MW for community wind initiatives. Two of the turbines are already in place in rural southwestern Iowa, with six more set to go in, scattered around the region.

GE, wind turbines, iowa

image via Open Energy Info

The investor group, Green Energy Farmers, are taking advantage of a number of incentives for wind development, according to GE. The company said  Iowa offers a 10-year tax credit for small wind power projects that generate less than 2.5 MW (all the turbines going in are under that size). In addition, local counties where the projects are being built offer property tax incentives for the first seven years.

In all, GE said, each turbine will reap benefits from tax credits, land lease royalty payments, property taxes and dividends adding up to about $1 million every year for 10 years. “All of the financial benefits, in addition to the shareholders’ annual dividends, go back to the community, underscoring one of the critical advantages of the projects for the area,” GE said.

Iowa is second only to Texas in wind energy with 4,495 MW installed capacity, but wind’s role in its economy extends beyond that. It’s the nation’s leader in wind energy jobs, GE said, with nine manufacturing companies and some 200 additional companies in the wind power supply chain. Here’s hoping most of them are still in business a year from now.

Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.

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