Members of ECI REC will soon be receiving a greater amount of electricity generated from wind energy. Central Iowa Power Cooperative (CIPCO), our wholesale power provider, recently announced the signing of a long-term power purchase agreement to buy the entire output from two new wind farms being constructed near the towns of Hawkeye and Grand Junction.
The projects will produce a combined 86 megawatts of electricity, which will double the amount of wind energy in CIPCO’s generation portfolio when the two wind farms become operational in the fall of 2012.
“Over 95 percent of CIPCO’s electricity is generated in Iowa and with the commitments of the Rippey (located in Grand Junction) and Hawkeye facilities, CIPCO’s carbon-free and emissions-free resources will be over 50% by 4th quarter 2012,” stated Dennis Murdock, CEO and executive vice president of CIPCO. “The addition of these two wind farms further enhances our commitment to local energy production and environmental stewardship.”
The 36-megawatt Hawkeye Wind Farm and 50-megawatt Rippey Wind Farm are being developed by RPM Access LLC (RPMA), an independent wind developer in Iowa. RPMA also developed the Elk Wind Farm in Delaware County, which became operational early in 2011 and is supplying power to CIPCO and its member cooperatives as well.
“These two new wind farms are good for Iowa’s economy and good for the members of East Central Iowa REC,” said CEO Harry Ruth. “We are adding jobs and new development to rural Iowa and producing a clean source of electricity in the process.”
Both new wind projects will use Nordex 2.5-megawatt turbines on 328-foot towers, the highest wind turbines in Iowa. Onsite road and substation construction activities at Hawkeye and Rippey have already begun.