The Iowa Utility Board has approved a $3 bn. MidAmerica wind farm project which will be the country’s largest, due to come on line in 2019, and which will generate enough electricity to power 800,000 homes! I looked this up, and there are only about 1.2 million households in Iowa! This one project could power 2/3s of the state’s homes! Of course, you still have commercial uses of power, and then the transportation sector includes 4.3 million registered vehicles, which are almost all fueled by carbon-emitting petroleum. But still, you have to wonder if Iowa will be the first 100% green energy state. (Iowa has the advantage of being a midwest wind corridor; some other areas of the country, like the Deep South, are much less well endowed in this regard– though they have loads of sunlight that they are wasting for lack of solar panels). Already, 31% of Iowa’s electricity is from wind.
Xcel Energy in Colorado and several partners, including the Danish firm Vestas Wind Systems, are planning a $1 bn. wind farm complex that would power 600,000 homes. About ten percent of those funds will be spent on new transmission lines to bring the electricity to Denver and Boulder where it is most needed. Colorado has about 2 million households, so this wind farm would power nearly a third of them.