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NEWS RELEASE: Iowa’s move to 40 percent renewables by 2015 highlights urgency for Michigan to act

May 10, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, May 10, 2013

CONTACT: Stephanie Cepak, 517-333-1606

 

Iowa’s move to 40 percent renewables by 2015 highlights urgency for Michigan to act

Hawkeye State announces major wind development

LANSING – Iowa’s largest utility announced this week a major economic development project that will spur the Hawkeye State to a 40 percent renewable energy standard by 2015. In light of the news, the Michigan Energy Michigan Jobs coalition urged policymakers to act before Michigan’s current renewable energy standard of 10 percent goes idle in 2015. 

“Our Midwest neighbors in Iowa already get nearly 25 percent of their electricity from renewable sources, like wind and solar,” said Sue Browne, regional program manager for the BlueGreen Alliance. “This commitment from MidAmerican Energy shows renewable energy is a win for workers, a win for businesses and a win for the consumer. Michigan’s policymakers should take notice and create a long-term energy plan for our state that includes more renewable energy and energy efficiency because it will create jobs and spark new businesses.”

The $1.9-billion investment in Iowa – with the utility going above and beyond the state’s renewable energy law – will build 656 new wind turbines. State officials in Iowa have estimated the project will create more than 500 jobs. 

According to the Associated Press, MidAmerican Energy President William Fehrman said, “By doing this, we’re not only setting up our customers for the long term to have a strong supply of renewable energy, but we’re able to do it in a very competitive manner.”

Fehrman noted customers in Iowa will ultimately see a reduction in their electric bills because of the wind turbine development.  Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, a Republican, also said the state’s wind energy has been an enticement for high-tech firms to locate in Iowa.

News out of Iowa comes the same week the Union of Concerned Scientists released a report highlighting the local economic development opportunities created by Michigan’s renewable energy standard.

The report recognized, “Michigan is capitalizing on its traditional assets—a skilled labor force, an existing manufacturing infrastructure, access to transportation, and proximity to major energy markets in nearby states—to attract renewable energy companies and compete in the growing clean energy industries.”

Michigan Energy Michigan Jobs is a bipartisan coalition of more than 300 Michigan businesses, health professionals, labor unions, academics and scientists, agricultural and rural voices, faith leaders, environmental and conservation groups and more.

More information about Michigan Energy Michigan Jobs can be found at www.mienergymijobs.com. Follow the coalition on Twitter @MIEnergyMIJobs or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MIEnergyMIJobs.

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