Renewables and Storage provide nearly 62% of IA Energy Generation
SAINT PAUL, MINN. (September 6, 2023) -- According to the American Clean Power Association (ACP) Second Quarter 2023 Report, Iowa ranked first among 11 Midwest states, and third nationwide for operating clean power capacity. Iowa added 224 Megawatts (MW) of clean power to the grid in the first two quarters of 2023, ranking third in the Midwest. Its operating clean power capacity is now 13,278 MW of wind, solar, and battery storage. Currently, wind, solar, and energy storage plants provide 61.8 percent of all the electricity produced in Iowa, and 4.2 million homes can be powered by the clean energy generated in Iowa.
Renewable energy like wind, solar, and battery storage resources, have taken over new power additions in Iowa in the past several years. Clean energy is a leading source of job creation and investment, providing over 5,682 good-paying jobs, and over $25 billion in capital investments in Iowa, according to ACP. Wind and solar costs have fallen 42% and 57% respectively over the last 10 years, making them the most affordable new electricity sources in the nation. Plus, wind and solar projects pay around $134.9 million a year in landowner lease payments, and state and local taxes to Iowans.
"Iowa is a national leader for home grown, reliable, clean energy thanks to farmers and communities who see the value-added benefits of wind farms and solar farms." said Clean Grid Alliance Vice President of Advocacy Jeff Danielson.
Clean Energy Brings Jobs and Economic Development to Iowa
Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), clean energy manufacturing has also seen an influx of growth and investments, with 83 new or expanding clean energy manufacturing facilities announced in the past year nationwide. Iowa is capitalizing on these benefits. Recently, the Siemens Gamesa wind turbine manufacturing plant closed in Fort Madison. Earlier this year, the plant reopened and is bringing workers back to produce a new and larger series of windmill blades, potentially bringing all 250+ workers who were laid off. A similar story happened with TPI Composites shutting its doors in 2021 and cutting 700 jobs. Now, TPI Composites and General Electric announced a 10-year agreement to supply wind turbine blades with production expected to start back up in 2024. TPI hopes to restore staffing levels to around 700-800 staff.
MidAmerican Energy has announced a new $3.9 billion renewable energy project in Iowa, called Wind PRIME. The Wind PRIME project will allow MidAmerican to deliver 100% renewable energy to Iowans equal to its Iowa customers' annual usage. The project will be delivered at no net cost to customers and may provide an immediate decrease in electricity bills. Additionally, the Wind PRIME project will create more than 1,100 full-time jobs during the construction phase, and another 125 full-time jobs for ongoing operations and maintenance. Overall, Wind PRIME will provide around $24 million per year in local property tax payments on wind turbines and solar facilities, as well as $21 million in annual landowner easement payments.
Clean Energy Drives Capital Investment
According to ACP, the value of the solar market in Iowa is $949 million and growing, and there has been over $22 billion in capital investment from the wind industry in Iowa. The total capital investment in wind, solar, and energy storage projects in Iowa exceeds $25 billion.
In addition to the enormous capital investments that clean energy projects bring to Iowa, they also provide extra income to farmers, ranchers, and other private landowners through drought-proof lease payments of $73.4 million annually. Overall, clean power invests in local communities, providing property, state, and local taxes to Iowans of $61.5 million annually.
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About Clean Grid Alliance (CGA)
CGA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in St. Paul, Minn., whose mission is to advance renewable energy in the Midwest. Launched in 2001, CGA has been an active stakeholder in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) process at the state and regional levels and a leading organization working on transforming state energy policy. CGA's membership includes industry representatives working in wind, solar and storage as well as environmental nonprofit organizations, public interest groups, clean energy advocates, farm groups, and businesses providing goods and services to the renewable energy industry who come together to reduce carbon and deliver a renewable energy future. Learn more at www.cleangridalliance.org and @CGA_Midwest.
Clean Grid Alliance