New wind farm soon to take shape

September 22, 2012 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

GLADBROOK – The heavy machinery is evident in areas of rural Gladbrook lately bringing some massive structures in tow.

All are part of the new Vienna wind farm project by MidAmerican Energy, which includes 45 turbines spanning parts of northeastern Marshall County and western Tama County.

The installation of the access roads and the turbine foundations are now complete.

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A nacelle of a wind turbine sits on the site of the Vienna wind farm just south of Gladbrook. This nacelle is the size of a school bus and weighs 190,000 pounds. Turbine parts have been steadily arriving at the site lately with construction of 45 turbines expected to be complete by the end of the year as part of this project.

“This month, turbine components continue to be delivered and erected at their respective sites,” said Tina Potthoff, spokesperson for MidAmerican Energy.

A total of 25 turbines will be located in Marshall County with 20 planned for Tama County in this work.

The project is expected to be completed by the end of the calendar year to take advantage of the wind energy tax credits that are set to expire.

Headlines in the wind turbine industry this week were not good as Siemens laid off more than 400 workers at its Fort Madison blade manufacturing plant.

Kirk Kraft works for RPM Access, a company that locates sites for wind turbines and has done work locally on the Vienna and Laurel projects.

He said this is a time of a huge amount of uncertainty in the industry with the tax credits set to expire at the end of the year.

“It’s a time of flux, I will say that,” Kraft said. “A lot is going to depend on the election.”

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