Iowa, already one of the country’s leading producers of wind energy, will move even further out in front of the industry as MidAmerican Energy “repowers” roughly a quarter of its wind capacity.
A wind developer’s dispute with an Iowa utility is part of a larger pattern of resistance to small renewable energy projects, according to advocates in the state.
An Iowa utility that failed earlier this year to impose new constraints on solar customers is making another attempt in its currently pending rate case. Interstate Power & Light has asked the Iowa Utilities Board to allow it to create two new rate classes for “partial requirements” customers — those who generate some of their own energy. The utility has not requested a new rate for solar customers, but clean energy proponents suspect it will be coming if the Iowa Utilities Board approves the proposed new rate classes. In another move that would tend to impinge on efforts to reduce energy use, the utility has asked for a $3 increase in the fixed monthly fee for residential customers. The utility wants to raise the fixed fee by $6.20 for small business customers.
An Iowa electric utility has proposed a green pricing option that ultimately could cost a customer more than investing in a rooftop solar system, according to the analysis of some clean-energy supporters in the state.
As former industrial communities seek to rebuild their economies around clean energy, two cities in the Midwest provide examples with starkly different outcomes.
An effort is underway in a small Iowa city to create a municipal electric utility that would supplant the service now supplied by Alliant Energy, an investor-owned utility — the latest in a series of similar efforts around the country.
A pair of federal efforts could make it more profitable to turn organic waste from agriculture and other sources into energy by taking advantage of the Renewable Fuel Standard.
The race is on to finish about a dozen large renewable energy projects in Iowa after state lawmakers did not act on renewing a key tax credit. The state’s production tax credit of 1.5 cents per kilowatt hour will not be available for any projects that go into operation after Dec. 31, 2017. The Iowa Legislature did not vote on renewing the credit during the session that ended in late April. The impact will be twofold: projects now in process won’t get the credit if they aren’t operating by the end of the year, and there will be no state tax credit as of Jan. 1 for larger solar projects.
While it remains unclear how an Iowa utility will change the way solar customers are compensated, installers in the state aren’t taking chances.
While the Trump administration retreats from climate and clean energy initiatives, a new report highlights states — including Iowa — that can provide a blueprint for moving forward.