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Home / MidAmerican launching solar project in Waterloo
DES MOINES — MidAmerican Energy is adding sun power to its renewable energy portfolio, utility officials said Tuesday.
The Des Moines-based energy company is taking the final steps to flip the switch at its first utility-scale solar energy project located in Waterloo, according to MidAmerican officials.
Mike Fehr, MidAmerican senior vice president of renewable generation and compliance, said the 3-megawatt Waterloo array will usher in a new era for the company’s renewable portfolio since the solar project and others coming online later this year will expand the utility’s renewable energy mix in Iowa.
In mid-November, MidAmerican will power-up the 3-MW Waterloo solar project, comprised of nearly 10,000 solar panels with capacity to serve nearly 650 average Iowa homes, he said.
“As we place more solar projects online over the next few months and years, they will boost the amount of clean, renewable energy we can provide to our customers,” according to Fehr, “and we’re doing it while also keeping our rates here in Iowa affordable — currently the 11th lowest in the nation.”
Fehr said MidAmerican is striving to reach a “net-zero future,” adding that “we will continue to find ways to decarbonize our portfolio in a manner our customers can afford, our regulators will allow and technology advances support.”
MidAmerican’s efforts to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions include adding renewable generation, investigating additional non-carbon generation technologies such as increasing nuclear generation, advancing transmission infrastructure to expand non-carbon resource generation and access, and exploring energy storage opportunities, Fehr added.
In addition to the Waterloo solar array, MidAmerican plans to have more projects online this year that will add 61 megawatts of solar power — including the 3-MW Hills solar project near Iowa City, 4-MW Neal solar project near Sioux City, 7-MW Franklin solar project in Franklin County, 24-MW Arbor Hill solar project in Adair County, and 20-MW at the Holliday Creek solar project in Webster County with another 80-MW to be added at the Holliday Creek site next year.
MidAmerican delivered 83.6 percent of the energy its Iowa customers used from renewable resources in 2020, the company said based upon the Iowa Utilities Board’s verification of its data. While that came mainly from wind energy, MidAmerican said the solar arrays now being built will add to that percentage in the future.
Overall, the company serves 795,000 electric customers in Iowa, Illinois and South Dakota, and 774,000 natural gas customers in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and South Dakota.
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