IWEA News / Updates
Prior brings new enthusiasm and passion for the continued development of wind energy in the State of Iowa and beyond.
Milford, IA, April 24, 2014 – By unanimous vote of the Board of Directors at their April 16th meeting, the Iowa Wind Energy Association (IWEA) elected Mike Prior as the organization's new Executive Director. Prior had served as Director of Business Development of IWEA since 2009 and had served as Interim Executive Director since December of 2013.
Kathy Law, President of IWEA recently made the announcement. “We are very pleased that Mike Prior has agreed to become IWEA’s new executive director. Mike has done a fantastic job as IWEA’s Director of Business Development the past few years and the board is confident Mike’s enthusiasm and passion for the wind industry will allow IWEA to maintain and grow its strong leadership position in the wind industry.” said Law.
State Representative Dan Kelley of Newton commented, “I'm proud of the strong wind energy industry we've developed here in Iowa. Mike's experience and leadership will help us grow Iowa's wind energy industry, create more jobs, and protect our natural resources. I look forward to working with him in the future."
“Under the previous leadership of Harold Prior and now his son Mike, IWEA has been an invaluable partner to the American Wind Energy Association and has helped increase wind energy to over 27 percent of the state’s generation mix, a national record,” said Peter Kelley, Vice President of Public Affairs for AWEA. “Iowa has been a trail blazer for wind energy all along, and we expect wind power to keep growing there with Mike Prior’s and IWEA’s commitment and leadership.”
Prior said, "I am very honored and excited to take on the role of Executive Director at such a critical time for wind energy. Wind energy accounts for over 24 percent of total electrical generation in Iowa. The massive public support for more renewable energy, as well as the unwavering support of our Governor and our Federal and State Legislators gives us a unique opportunity to work together to make wind energy an even more integral part of Iowa’s energy portfolio."
Wind energy is an effective tool to keep electricity rates low and encourage development of proven renewable energy products. The economic impacts on Iowa are undeniable with over $9.8 billion dollars in capital investment, and approximately 7,000 jobs in construction, operational and maintenance, and manufacturing. Additionally, over $16 million dollars in annual landowner lease payments and substantial increases in the property tax base have resulted from Iowa’s support of wind development.
"I look forward to working with IWEA’s many members, partners and supporters to craft a long-term strategy that creates healthy and consistent wind energy policy in Iowa as well as the Midwest," Prior said. "Implementing this strategy will create jobs in our communities, strengthen our economy, and help address climate change."