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Construction on massive Iowa wind project to start in April

A massive wind project in Iowa has set its sights on two locations west of the Quad Cities.

Two wind farms will be built within Boone, Greene and Mahaska Counties, according to a statement from MidAmerican Energy.  It’s all part of the Wind XI project, which is a $3.6 billion investment in wind energy, the largest economic development in Iowa’s history.

Related: $3.6 billion wind power project proposed in Iowa

In this part of the project, 169 wind turbines will be built, adding a total of 338 megawatts of new wind generation capacity in the state. Construction is expected to begin in April and will be completed by the end of 2017.

“For our customers, the benefits of Wind XI are very clear: clean energy produced right here in Iowa, using an abundant natural resource,” said Bill Fehrman, president and CEO of MidAmerican Energy.

Over the course of 40 years, Wind XI is expected to bring $1.2 billion in economic benefits to Iowa communities from landowner easements and property tax payments. Thousands of workers will get temporary work from the construction process, and upon completion, hundreds permanent jobs will be available.

The project’s entire development plan calls for 1,000 wind turbines to be built, which will add 2,000 megawatts of wind generation capacity.

MidAmerican Energy is still scouting for other potential development sites for the rest of the project. Organizers are planning to start construction in 2018 and 2019.

Click here to see where Iowa’s existing wind farms are