Alliant's Franklin County wind farm (copy)

Alliant Energy Corp., Madison, says it will build the 69-turbine English Farms Wind Farm in central Iowa. Alliant's Franklin County wind farm, also in Iowa, is shown above.


Alliant Energy Corp.’s Iowa utility company is adding a wind farm in central Iowa to serve its customers in that state.

Madison-based Alliant said it has reached an agreement with Tradewind Energy, an independent renewable power developer based in Lenexa, Kansas, to establish the English Farms Wind Farm, about 60 miles east of Des Moines.

Tradewind has developed the site and received the necessary approvals; Alliant will build, own and operate the wind energy site. Estimated cost: $300 million.

The wind farm will have 69 turbines capable of producing as much as 170 megawatts of electricity at peak conditions, with an annual output expected to be enough to serve about 50,000 homes a year, Alliant said. Construction will start in 2018.

Alliant officials said in 2016 the company planned to invest $1 billion in wind power in Iowa by 2021. Over the past two years, Alliant has received the approval of Iowa utility regulators to add up to 500 megawatts of wind energy in 2016 and has requested a similar wind expansion in 2017.

With the addition of those projects, Alliant said Iowa customers will get more than one-third of their power from wind by the end of 2020.

The English Farms wind project will not affect Alliant’s Wisconsin customers. Alliant has proposed adding wind through its Wisconsin utility, as well.

In November, the company proposed buying part of the Forward Wind Farm, along with Madison Gas & Electric, and Wisconsin Public Service Corp., of Green Bay. The Forward Wind farm can generate up to 129 megawatts of electricity. It is in Dodge and Fond du Lac counties and is owned by Forward Energy, an affiliate of Invenergy.

Eight percent of Alliant’s Wisconsin electricity currently comes from wind.

Alliant and its utility subsidiaries now own one wind farm in Wisconsin; one in Minnesota; and two in Iowa, with two more set to be built next year. Alliant’s non-regulated subsidiary announced earlier this year that it planned to buy 50 percent of a wind farm in Oklahoma — the 225-megawatt Great Western Wind Project, owned by EDF Renewable Energy. The acquisition was finalized this fall.


Judy Newman is a business reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal.