Looking To The Future of Wind Energy
Dear Editor and Citizens of
Palo Alto County:
Palo Alto County is on the verge of becoming a leader in Iowa’s wind energy production! It is with great enthusiasm that Iowa Lakes Community College wholeheartedly supports the county’s progress toward contributing to a responsible component of America’s energy future.
Iowa is already a national leader in agricultural production, exporting goods around the globe. Becoming a new generation of renewable energy farmers is a legacy that will make future generations of Palo Alto County proud.
Following in the footsteps of visionaries who made Iowa’s leadership in wind a model for the nation, Palo Alto County is poised to contribute to Iowa’s role of national leadership in wind energy production.
Wind power development in this county brings with it the promise of generations of skilled workers and their families working in our region in great paying positions and stemming the tide of population decline. The skilled jobs across this industrial spectrum are grown locally as well, as Iowa Lakes Community College delivers the education necessary to enter these technical fields.
The Planning and Zoning Board along with the Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors wisely stand to benefit the county and the region in ways that can’t be overstated. The presence of a permanent resource requiring highly-skilled workers means millions in tax revenue to improve Palo Alto County and a stable income base for landowners. Emerging environmental practices in sustainable agriculture go hand-in-hand with renewable energy production and diversify our work force in ways that are recession proof.
As a proud supporter of our communities, Iowa Lakes Community College launched the nation’s first Associate in Applied Science Degree program in Wind Energy and Turbine Technology in 2004. Many graduates work in Iowa and many more will choose Iowa and Palo Alto County as their home as we continue to support this vital energy industry. Degree programs that we built from wind programming, support virtually every industry in our region from Engineering Technology to Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning.
By leveraging the success brought by wind, we have expanded our ability to keep great minds in Northwest Iowa. The renewing power of wind is truly an integral part of Iowa’s future. With wind energy projected to continue with triple digit growth for the next decade and beyond, Iowa Lakes Community College will continue to create bright futures for our region’s work force.
We stand behind Palo Alto County’s positive efforts to adopt sensible yet workable zoning policies that make development of this key resource possible in a responsible, collaborative way. As we have for the past 50 years, our educational resources stand ready to assist.
We look forward to the next steps on this wind energy journey and we support timely, workable policies which are critical to sustaining this momentum!
(signed) Valerie Newhouse, President