06/09/2013 06:40 pm ET Updated Aug 09, 2013

Two Iowa Energy Headlines That Say a Lot About the Electricity Market and Policy Changes

"MidAmerican Decides Against Iowa Nuclear Plant," Des Moines Register, June 3, 2013.

"MidAmerican Energy to Invest $1.9 Billion Building 1,050 MW of New Wind Power Projects in Iowa," Des Moines Register, May 8, 2013

This is the impact of public policy shifts, the prevailing electricity market economics and the prevailing public preferences for renewable energy all coming together. Good for jobs, good for economic growth, good for holding down utility rates for consumers, and good for our environment.

FYI, Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway own 90%+ of MidAmerican Energy.


MidAmerican decides against Iowa nuclear plant

MidAmerican Energy says design plan isn't approved; environmentalists celebrate
June 3, 2013

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MidAmerican Energy has scrapped plans for Iowa's second nuclear plant and will refund $8.8 million ratepayers paid for a now-finished feasibility study, utility officials said Monday.

The utility has decided against building any major power plant. That's because there is no approved design for the modular nuclear plant it envisioned, and there are too many questions about limits on carbon emissions from a natural gas plant, the company said.

"We opted for what was in the best interest of our customers," MidAmerican vice president for regulatory affairs Dean Crist told The Des Moines Register.

The decision ends, for now, a three-year controversy over the future of nuclear energy in Iowa and how to pay for a possible nuclear plant...

Read full article here.



MidAmerican Energy will invest $1.9 billion in wind projects in Iowa
May 8, 2013

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Gov. Terry Branstad announced Wednesday that MidAmerican Energy will make a $1.9 billion investment in Iowa for wind energy projects that will be the biggest single economic investment ever in the state.

"As wind energy goes, so does Iowa's economy," said Branstad, who spoke enthusiastically about the plans. He added, "Remember, once they make this investment it will be here for the next 40 or 50 years."

MidAmerican officials said no sites have been selected yet, but they hinted the sites would be in northwest Iowa and south of Interstate Highway 80 in western Iowa.

Branstad, speaking at a late afternoon news conference, said MidAmerican Energy Co. will 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, officials said. 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, MidAmerican officials said.

"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," Branstad said...

Read full article here.