Iowa Congressman Tom Latham welcomed news today that one of the world's most recognizable companies has made a major investment in Iowa wind energy. Google Inc. and West Des Moines-based RPM Access, LLC (RPMA) announced that Google has committed $75 million to the Rippey Wind Farm project, located in Greene County.
While the 20-turbine facility currently has the capacity to power approximately 15,000 homes, Latham said that Google's investment can augment the project's growth and benefit Iowa in the long run.
"Wind energy continues to be a vital component of an all-of-the-above energy strategy and Iowa's economy, and Google's substantial investment will bolster the industry's expansion and success," Congressman Latham said. "The company's $75 million commitment means more jobs for Iowans, more opportunities for one of the most innovative and exciting sectors of the state's economy, and long-term growth that will help guarantee Iowa's continued presence at the forefront of wind energy innovation."
Google's investment comes amid Congress' lame duck session, when it is expected that the House of Representatives and the Senate will consider an extension of the wind production tax credit (PTC). Without Congressional action, the PTC will expire at the end of the year.
"I am encouraged that Google recognizes the pivotal role that wind plays in securing energy independence and supporting American jobs, and I will continue working to ensure that Congress follows suit in the days and weeks ahead by renewing the crucial wind energy tax credit," Congressman Latham added.
"Extending the wind energy tax credit will encourage continued investment in Iowa's wind energy market and help secure wind as a sustainable industry and energy source in the long run."
RPMA is a developer, builder, operator and owner of utility scale wind farms. Construction of its Rippey Wind Farm commenced in November 2011, and the facility recently achieved commercial operation. The energy produced by the wind farm has been contracted to the Central Iowa Power Cooperative.
Google operates a data center in Council Bluffs, and the company has a history of supporting Iowa's wind industry. In 2010, Google entered into a long-term contract to purchase wind energy from NextEra Energy Resources Story County II facility.