ALLETE Clean Energy signed an acquisition agreement to purchase wind farms in Minnesota, Iowa and Oregon from The AES Corporation in early 2014 and has also signed an option agreement to acquire a fourth wind energy facility in Pennsylvania in mid-2015. Under the acquisition agreement, ALLETE Clean Energy would acquire AES’ position in operating wind energy projects in Lake Benton, Minn., Storm Lake, Ia., and Condon, Ore. with a total output of 231 MW for $27 million. All three wind farms to be acquired have PPAs in place for their entire electric output.
MidAmerican Energy will add up to 1,050 MW of wind generation, consisting of up to 656 new wind turbines, in Iowa by year-end 2015. If the expansion is approved by the Iowa Utilities Board, MidAmerican Energy will own and operate approximately 3,335 MW of wind generation capacity in Iowa by year-end 2015.
Distribution utilities could become an important source of renewable funding.
Distribution utilities are well positioned to provide tax equity for renewable projects, but some state laws prevent it. Tapping the potential will require progressive leadership by utility executives and regulators.