In late March, Central Iowa Power Cooperative - the largest generation and transmission cooperative in Iowa - announced it will work with six member cooperatives to install 5.5 MW of solar power generation. For perspective, the entire state of Iowa installed about 6 MW of solar power generation in 2015.
Solar energy brings a host of economic benefits to rural communities - lower electricity rates, local jobs, and the potential to retain more dollars in the local economy. Add to this the environmental and educational benefits of solar, and you have a win-win energy solution.
The utility-scale solar projects will be installed by Azimuth Energy, LLC out of St. Louis, Missouri. The distribution cooperatives involved with the project include Clarke Electric Cooperative, Consumers Energy, Eastern Iowa Light & Power Cooperative, East-Central Iowa REC, Midland Power Cooperative, and Pella Cooperative Electric.
With the cost of solar energy plummeting, customer-owned utilities are looking for ways to tap the economic and environmental benefits associated with this resource. CIPCO’s announcement demonstrates their commitment to ensuring that rural Iowans don’t get left out of the clean energy transition.
Rural Americans have always been innovative, self-reliant, and pragmatic. Solar energy is a tangible example of those values.
You can read the CIPCO announcement here.
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