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Alliant Energy plans for Iowa’s largest solar and storage facility

Written by: Leonard Parker | Solar News | 12th November


By SB Staff November 11, 2021 View Profile

Alliant Energy announced that it plans to add the first phase of 400 MW of solar energy generation in Iowa through a filing with the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB). The filing details Alliant Energy’s intention to acquire 200 MW of solar energy and 75 MW of battery energy storage from Duane Arnold Solar Phase I and II that will be developed by wholly owned subsidiaries of NextEra Energy Resources.

Upon completion, Alliant Energy will own and operate both projects. Today’s announcement is the first major milestone for Alliant Energy in executing its Clean Energy Blueprint in Iowa. Once operational, expected in late 2024, the project positions Alliant Energy as the largest combined solar and battery storage operator in the state.  

Combining battery storage and solar power ensures that customers’ needs are met while ensuring safe and reliable service. Additionally, the combination contributes to a healthier environment and serves as an economic catalyst in the communities served by Alliant Energy, as the company continues to accelerate its transition to cleaner, more renewable energy for customers.

“It’s part of our purpose-driven strategy of serving customers and building stronger communities,” said Terry Kouba, president of Alliant Energy’s Iowa energy company. “Our plan also keeps customer affordability at the forefront. We are excited to transition land from the decommissioned nuclear facility into the largest solar and battery storage facility in Iowa.”

Up to 200 jobs will be created during the development and construction of the 200 MW of solar energy and 75 MW of battery storage at the Duane Arnold Solar Project. An economic impact study conducted by Strategic Economic Research reports that the two projects will have a combined positive economic impact of up to $260 million on the state of Iowa (including up to $154 million in Linn County). As a result, there are ripple effects during construction and throughout the project’s life cycle, including new jobs, wages, tax revenues, and other economic activity.  

The projects also repurpose a portion of the land and infrastructure at the former Duane Arnold nuclear energy facility. The existing transmission infrastructure already on the site is expected to be used.

“This is good for our customers, the communities we serve and the environment while powering tens of thousands of homes with solar energy,” said Mayuri Farlinger, director of operations at Alliant Energy. “In addition, these projects assure our customers we have a diverse mix of reliable energy generation to meet their ongoing demands.”

The company plans to outline its plans for the remaining 200 MW of solar capacity in Iowa at a later date. In Iowa, Alliant Energy’s new wind projects will combine with its existing 1,300 MW of wind generation to make nearly 50% of the company’s total energy mix renewable. Currently, Alliant Energy, the third largest owner-operator of regulated wind energy in the nation, is on track to reach this milestone by 2025.  

Alliant Energy filed its application with the Iowa Utilities Board on November 2, 2021 to advance these projects. The announcement coincides with subsidiaries of NextEra Energy Resources’ filing to the IUB, which requests approval for siting of the facilities.

“We are very pleased to continue working with Alliant Energy and the community of Linn County, which we have been fortunate to serve for the past 15 years with the Duane Arnold Energy Center,” said Matt Handel, senior vice president of development for NextEra Energy Resources. “Duane Arnold Solar is an innovative project that pairs cost-effective, clean, renewable energy from the sun with battery energy storage technology – providing customers with more access to renewable energy over more hours of the day, even when the sun is not shining.”

“Alliant Energy and NextEra Energy Resources have a long history of collaborating to provide carbon-free sources of energy and energy generation to customers,” said Kouba. “These plans put us on course for achieving our aspirational goal of net-zero carbon dioxide emissions for the electricity we generate by 2050. Our customers, the local community and the environment will benefit from this solar and battery storage facility for decades to come.”

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Tags: Alliant Energy, Iowa, utility-scale

Source: https://solarbuildermag.com/projects/alliant-energy-plans-for-iowas-largest-solar-and-storage-facility/