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My Windmill

MidAmTurbineWATCH VIDEO  |  Watch video wind turbine construction time-lapse

 When I was a kid growing up in southwest Iowa, whenever my family would go for a car ride, my brother and I would play a game that we called “My Windmill”. The game went like this… As we drove the countryside, we would scour the horizon as we crested every hill and the first to see a windmill yelled out “My Windmill”. Of course the windmills of the 1960’s were the water pumping variety. They were typically stationed near every country farm and provided the necessary well water supply for both human and livestock.


Today’s windmills are large turbines and are strategically placed in rural Iowa literally named Wind farms. According to Iowa Wind Energy Association, there are currently 3,198 utility scale wind turbines in operation with 100 wind projects online and producing energy. The wind energy in Iowa currently employs 6,000 to 7,000 in all wind related employment.  This ranks Iowa 3rd in the nation in employment related to the wind energy industry.

Iowa’s largest energy company, MidAmerican Energy announced on May 1st that they were investing another $900 million in a new wind development project potentially adding another 552 megawatts of wind energy to the state.

If you are driving across Interstate 80 west towards Nebraska or north on Interstate 35 towards Minnesota, you will see hundreds of wind turbines across the horizons.  Equally impressive is seeing these at night with their red lights blinking in sync to one another.

Love them or hate them, they are here to stay and they are certainly one of the big reasons Iowa is becoming favored for tech business by companies like Microsoft, Google and Facebook.

Move over bacon, there’s a new industry comin’ to town!


About Les Sulgrove

Les is an Iowa native born in Des Moines and raised in the southwest Iowa town of Bridgewater. He has been a resident of Des Moines since 1982 and has been married to his wife Linda for over 35 years. Together they have 3 grown children, 7 grandchildren and make their home on Des Moines south side. He has been a licensed REALTOR® since 1990 and is Vice President at VIA Group, REALTORS®. Les is the 2011 Past President of the Des Moines Area Association of REALTORS® (DMAAR) and received the award of Salesperson of the Year by DMAAR in 2007 for his involvement and service to the Association. Additionally, he is active at the Iowa Association of REALTORS® and serves on local, state and national committees. He also owns and operates the national technology networking group CyberProfessionals. This group of real estate professionals meets twice annually across the United States to learn from each other and share new marketing ideas with heavy emphasis on current and future technologies and their use in the real estate business. Les’ hobbies include golf, photography and sarcastic humor. He and Linda spend many Saturday mornings from Spring to Fall at the Des Moines Downtown Farmers Market. He enjoys spoiling his grandchildren at every opportunity.

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