Missouri is the latest state where utility regulators are reevaluating outdated rules on customer-owned solar power and other distributed energy sources.
While proposed long-distance, high-voltage transmission projects continue to be stymied by hostile landowners and disapproving state regulators, a new transmission strategy is taking root in the Midwest.
One of Iowa’s two major utilities wants to spend – and charge its customers – nearly $1 billion over the next several years to modernize its grid, and advocates want to ensure that money is spent wisely.
In Iowa, a state with some of the highest demand charges in the nation, a solar installer is offering a storage solution that the company claims could cut power bills in half for some large electricity customers.
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.