Council Filed Testimony in Support of Alliant Wind Proposal
by NATHANIEL BAER on Friday, September 29, 2017
Today, Council Energy Program Director Nathaniel Baer filed testimony with the Iowa Utilities Board to support Alliant Energy's wind proposal and suggest several improvements. The Council and the Environmental Law & Policy Center have intervened jointly in the docket at the IUB.
In August, Alliant Energy filed a proposal with the Iowa Utilities Board for an additional 500 megawatt (MW) wind energy project. Alliant’s proposal continues Iowa’s strong progress on wind energy development, following nearly 2,500 MW of wind approved by the IUB in 2016 and 1,000 MW of wind repowering approved earlier this year.
Highlights of Baer's testimony include:
- This Alliant project can bring Iowa to the key benchmark for wind energy development of 10,000 MW of installed capacity by 2020;
- Wind costs have declined while performance has improved in recent years, making wind the lowest cost new source of generation in the Midwest;
- The size cap of the project should increase to at least 700 MW so that Alliant customers and the state of Iowa can benefit from more wind energy development;
- Alliant should retire renewable energy credits annually on behalf of all customers to better allow customers to track and achieve renewable energy and sustainability targets.
Finally, Alliant’s long-term resource plans indicate additions of significant amounts of solar energy in future years. Given this, Alliant should file a proposal for at least 100 MW of solar within the next 12 months to ensure that it can bring a large solar project on-line in the next few years and can use the full value of available federal tax incentives.
We look forward to next steps at the Iowa Utilities Board and hope to see the project move forward in ways that reflect our recommendations for even greater renewable energy development in Iowa, along with greater benefits.