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Alliant Energy Announces Plans for Largest Solar and Battery Facility in Iowa

Nov. 5, 2021
The company files its plan with IUB to repurpose land from the former Duane Arnold nuclear energy site.

In a filing with the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB), Alliant Energy announced plans for adding the first portion of its planned 400 MW of solar energy generation in Iowa. In the filing, Alliant Energy details its intent to acquire 200 MW of solar energy and 75 MW of battery energy storage from Phase I and II of the Duane Arnold Solar Project that will be developed by wholly-owned, indirect subsidiaries of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC in Linn County. Once operational, Alliant Energy will own and operate both projects.

The announcement is the first major milestone for Alliant Energy in executing its Clean Energy Blueprint in Iowa. Once operational, expected by year-end 2024, the project positions Alliant Energy as the largest combined solar and battery storage operator in the state.

Pairing battery storage with solar cost-effectively meets customer demand and ensures safe and reliable service for customers. The combination also contributes to a healthier environment and serves as a local economic catalyst as the company continues accelerating its transition to delivering cleaner, more renewable energy for customers and the communities Alliant Energy serves.
“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.”

The development and construction of the 200 MW of solar energy and 75 MW of battery storage at the Duane Arnold Solar Project will create up to 200 new construction jobs. According to an economic impact study conducted by Strategic Economic Research, the two projects will have a projected combined positive economic output of up to $260 million on the state of Iowa (including up to $154 million in Linn County). That includes the cumulative ripple effects of new jobs, wages, tax revenue and other economic activity during construction and through the life of the projects. 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 expects to outline plans for the remaining 200 MW of solar generation in Iowa at a future date. Once all the new projects are operational, combined with Alliant Energy’s existing 1,300 MW of wind generation in Iowa, nearly 50% of the company’s total resource mix in the state will be from renewable resources.

Alliant Energy, the third-largest owner-operator of regulated wind energy in the nation, is on pace to reach this milestone by 2025. Alliant Energy filed its application with the Iowa Utilities Board today (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.”

A decision from the IUB is anticipated in the second half of 2022. To learn more about Alliant Energy’s plans, visit alliantenergy.com/iowasolar.

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