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Board urges MidAmerican to hold costs down on wind project

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Utilities Board has adopted an order encouraging MidAmerican Energy to hold down costs on its $900 million project to build two more Iowa wind farms.

In a 2-1 decision Friday, the board said it would allow MidAmerican to later increase rates by up to $1.61 million for every megawatt of electricity generated.

The investor-owned utility and the Office of Consumer Advocate had agreed on a higher cost cap of nearly $1.64 million per megawatt. For the 552-megawatt plan, the difference comes out to $16 million.

Board members Libby Jacobs and Nick Wagner wrote that the lower cap would reduce risk to customers and provide an incentive to MidAmerican to keep costs low.

Dissenting board chair Geri Huser says she would have approved the higher cap, calling it reasonable.

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