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Alliant’s Cedar Rapids community solar garden 75 percent reserved
Customers who buy solar blocks will receive energy credits
Seventy-five percent of the solar blocks in Alliant Energy’s incoming Cedar Rapids community solar garden have been claimed.
The solar garden — scheduled to be completed next summer — will consist of 18,000 solar blocks. At maximum output, the 4.5-megawatt project could power about 3,600 homes.
Upon the utility’s initial announcement in July, 60 percent of the garden’s blocks — the maximum amount a single subscriber can claim — was already committed to Transamerica and AEGON Asset Management, a diversified insurance and investment group. An additional 6 percent were allotted to the Cedar Valley Habitat for Humanity.
Since then, nonprofit organizations, small business owners and residents have purchased subscriptions, including the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation, Alliant said in a news release.
Gary’s Foods — a locally-owned family grocery store in Mount Vernon — purchased 126 solar blocks, said store manager Peter Dietrich. The resulting solar energy will make up 10 percent of the store’s energy usage.
“I've always wanted to do similar projects,” Dietrich said. “Solar and other alternative ways of doing electricity would help everybody in the whole world, and our bottom line, too.”
Each 250-watt solar block will generate an average of 541 kilowatt-hours annually and is priced at $395.
Alliant customers who buy a block will receive monthly energy credits on their electric bills, beginning at 5.59 cents per kilowatt-hour. Those credits begin once the garden is operating and will continue for the 20-year life of the project.
The solar garden will be built on Alliant property north of the 1100 block of 33rd Avenue SW in Cedar Rapids. Construction is expected to be completed by late summer 2023.
Another 4,500 solar blocks are available for subscription. Interested customers can reserve a block online at alliantenergy.com/communitysolar.
Alliant offers an online calculator for potential subscribers to determine how many solar blocks they would need to supplement or fully cover their energy needs.
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