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Tuesday, Sep. 1, 2015

Iowa can reap benefits from harnessing wind power

Monday, February 10, 2003

Iowa residents (and those just paying a visit) know that the wind likes to blow in the Hawkeye State.

While it's an annoyance to most, a small but growing number of people believe this force of nature can deliver benefits to Iowa's economy and environment and are working to do just that.

Capturing and converting wind into electricity begins with turbines. These wind energy systems transform the kinetic energy of the wind into mechanical or electrical energy that can be captured for practical use, including electricity for homes and businesses and for sale to utilities.

According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), wind energy has the potential to supply about 20 percent of the nation's electricity.

North Dakota ranks first in wind energy potential while Iowa finds itself in 10th place.

The state is working hard to make the most of this ranking. Iowa is currently home to more than 350 wind turbines that produce about 646 million kilowatt-hours per year. This is enough to supply the annual energy needs for 66,204 average Iowa residential customers.

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