Harold Prior, Executive Director of the Iowa Wind Energy Association, spoke to Rotary on Wednesday, May 16 to share an update on wind energy operations in Northwest Iowa. NWEA is a national leader in bringing jobs and economic development to rural areas. For example in 2007, there were only 5 manufacturers of wind turbines in the US. There are 14 now. Additional benefits of the wind industry to northwest Iowa include education opportunities, land owner benefits, energy exporting, energy jobs, infrastructure improvement, investment and property tax base. Iowa is the first state to reach 20% electricity from wind (% of all sources). Iowa exports 13% and uses 7%. There has been over $5 billion in private investments in wind energy in Iowa. The goals of the NWEA are to 1) inform the general public, 2) lobby at state and federal level, 3) represent wind energy interests in Iowa and 4) support growth of the industry.