Wind PRIME continues through the regulatory process with the Iowa Utilities Board. In August, MidAmerican, the Office of Consumer Advocate and environmental intervenors agreed to terms in the Wind PRIME docket, maintaining key customer benefits that have been proposed. The regulatory process will continue, culminating with a rehearing in October. The board is expected to make a final decision on Wind PRIME by December.
MidAmerican filed the figures Friday as part of a request to the Iowa Utilities Board to verify the 100% renewable energy milestone through the company’s GreenAdvantage program. The program passes on sustainability benefits to all MidAmerican customers in Iowa at no additional cost.
Wind energy not only generates clean power but also provides additional benefits to MidAmerican customers:
- Wind mitigates volatile fuel prices and delivers long-term affordability benefits to customers: In 2022, higher-than-expected winds boosted wind energy output at a time when wholesale electricity market prices were higher due to high natural gas prices. Not only did strong wind generation bring costs down for MidAmerican customers this summer, but it also reduces the need for future rate increases. In 2022, thanks to robust wind generation, MidAmerican credited $314 million back to customers to pay down the rate base. Through this unique regulatory agreement, MidAmerican has credited over $900m back to customers since 1997.
- Energy diversity can lessen need for other sources: Wind energy resources, when available, can reduce the need to turn to other sources to generate electricity. There are no fuel costs for wind energy.
- Wind energy can assist regional grid when challenged: Wind energy was critical to delivering reliable service during times of high demand in 2022. It insulated customers from what impacted other utilities around the country, including controlled outages and volatile market prices, which were due to then-higher natural gas generation fuel costs.
- Wind energy has been good for Iowa: Iowa is a national leader in generating clean, renewable energy, which has created a competitive and economic advantage for new and existing customers alike. In addition, property tax revenue and landowner lease payments generated from wind energy support rural communities and farmers.
While MidAmerican delivered 100% renewable energy to serve its Iowa customers’ electricity usage in 2022, the company is unlikely to replicate it without adding additional resources to harness the wind, according to National Weather Service data. The weather service reports that, in 2022, the region experienced record average wind speeds beginning early in the year.
MidAmerican Energy, headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, serves 813,000 electric customers in Iowa, Illinois and South Dakota, and 789,000 natural gas customers in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and South Dakota. Information about MidAmerican Energy is available at midamericanenergy.com and company social media channels.