The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, a $787 billion economic stimulus package passed by Congress on February 13, 2009 and signed by President Obama on February 17, 2009, contains a three-year extension of the Section 45 production tax credit for renewable energy. By extending this incentive program to 2012, Congress has ensured that the remarkable growth of wind power in Iowa will continue, along with the fresh economic opportunities and emissions-free energy that it provides.
From its creation in the Energy Policy Act of 1992, the wind energy production tax credit has spurred the growth of clean, emissions-free wind energy for MidAmerican’s customers. By encouraging investment in equipment and facilities associated with the generation of electricity from wind, the production tax credit also promotes U.S. jobs in construction, manufacturing and maintenance.
This resulted in more than 5,200 megawatts of wind power installed during 2007 alone—expanding the nation's total wind energy capacity by 45 percent. In Iowa, the production tax credit has helped MidAmerican Energy expand its wind energy fleet to more than 1,200 megawatts. By the end of 2008, Iowa ranked second in the United States for total installed wind power, trailing only Texas.