The Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative (ILEC) is installing wind turbines at two wind farms located near ethanol plants.
ILEC, which serves customers in the counties of Buena Vista, Cherokee, Clay, Dickinson, Emmet, Kossuth, Palo Alto and Pocahontas, is building two separate wind farms near the 110 million-gallon Global Ethanol plant at Lakota and the 50 million-gallon Green Plains Renewable Energy ethanol plant near Superior.
Each site will include seven General Electric 1.5-megawatt turbines, which will be installed starting in early 2009. The two wind farms will produce approximately 71 million kilowatt hours of wind-generated electricity each year, which is the equivalent of serving almost 3,700 of ILEC’s member-owners’ farms and residential homes for one year.
The reason behind placing the wind turbines near ethanol is that the electric distribution infrastructure is already in place at those locations.
Locating both wind projects next to an existing ethanol plant that the cooperative currently serves takes advantage of the existing substation infrastructure without adding to transmission level connection, which can be extremely expensive.
The foundations are already in place and the cooperative hopes to have the wind turbines operating by the third quarter of 2009.