MidAmerican expanding wind portfolio

MidAmerican Renewables continued to grow its renewable presence when it completed its acquisition of a wind project in Illinois.

The acquisition by MidAmerican, which is a subsidiary of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company (NYSE: MDPWM), is of the 81-MW Bishop Hill II wind project from Invenergy Wind LLC. This project, which is in construction in Henry County, Ill., will feature 50 General Electric 1.62-MW wind turbines. Bishop Hill II is 40 miles northwest of Peoria, Ill.

Construction began in fourth quarter of 2011 and the project is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of this year, qualifying it for the possibly expiring production tax credit. Ameren Illinois will purchase the electricity from the project under a 20-year power purchase agreement.

Bishop Hill II is the second phase of Invenergy’s Bishop Hill Wind Energy Center. The first phase, Bishop Hill I, will remain in Invenergy’s portfolio, to be owned and operated by the Chicago-based project developer.

 “The Bishop Hill II wind project demonstrates MidAmerican Renewables’ commitment to environmental respect and renewable energy,” said Bill Fehrman, president of MidAmerican Renewables. “The closing of the Bishop Hill II acquisition adds to our growing portfolio of renewable energy assets. We continue to focus on growing our portfolio of renewable energy projects and look forward to evaluating and acquiring wind projects similar to this.”

When the 2012 wind projects are complete, MidAmerican Energy will own 2,284.8 MW of wind generation, with approximately 29% of its total generation capacity powered by wind.

In 2009, MidAmerican Energy received approval from the Iowa Utilities Board to add up to 1,001 MW of wind-powered generation prior to 2013, and has agreements in place to fulfill that commitment.

MidAmerican Energy and Siemens entered into a turbine supply agreement for an additional 176 2.3 MW wind turbines to be constructed at three sites in Iowa.

MidAmerican Energy recently announced three projects in Iowa: including its 103.5 MW Vienna wind project; its 200.1 MW Eclipse wind project; and 101.2 MW Morning Light wind project.