Duke Energy’s Sustainable Solutions planning its first wind farm in Iowa

Duke Energy’s newly formed Sustainable Solutions unit, merged from several entities only months ago, is building a 207-MW wind power project in Iowa.

Construction on the Ledyard Windpower site in Kossuth County will be Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions’ first renewable energy project in Iowa. The non-regulated commercial brand of Duke was formed with the combination of several previous units, including REC Solar, Duke Energy Renewables Wind, and other subsidiaries.

Verizon Communications has contracted for 180 MW of the Ledyard wind power generation on a 15-year virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA). A virtual PPA means that the electricity generated will not go directly toward the customer company’s power use, but help fund investment in the renewable energy capacity.

“We’re excited to enter into the Iowa market, a state that has valuable wind resources and is ranked second in wind energy generation,” Chris Fallon, president of Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions, said in a statement. “Ledyard Windpower  will not only add cleaner energy and economic value to Kossuth County, but it will also contribute to Duke Energy’s goal of reaching 47,000 MW of renewable energy by 2050.”

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Work on Ledyard is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2022. Once operational, it will increase Duke Energy Sustainable Solutions’ U.S. wind capacity to more than 3,100 MW.

The 12,000-acre site could provide enough power for the equivalent of 72,450 homes, according to Duke. The construction phase will create approximately 200 jobs during the peak of work, the release says.

Iowa is host to about 11,000 MW of installed wind energy capacity, according to reports. It ranks a distant second to Texas, but ahead of Oklahoma and Kansas.

North Carolina-based utility giant Duke Energy launched the Sustainable Solutions spinoff in April.  The move unified many of the company’s renewable energy efforts and offered services from financing to planning, construction and management of projects.

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