Wind power comes to our county!

A local power company — Alliant Energy — has begun construction of Whispering Willow Wind Farm in Franklin County. The first wind mill components started rolling in last week and the county’s first wind turbine will soon be constructed. These things are huge! Much bigger than they appear from far away.

According to wind energy experts, a completed wind turbine costs upwards of $2 million. It takes, on average, about 14 semi trailers carrying towers, blades and mechanical housing units to install one turbine. Right now, wind-generated power accounts for 1% of all energy generated in the U.S. by public and private utilities. That 1%, however, constitutes displacement of 29 million tons of coal and 90 million barrels of oil a year. The federal goal is to generate 20% of our power through wind by 2030. Iowa has surpassed California now as the second largest producer of wind energy, behind Texas.