116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Duane Arnold nuclear plant’s new beginning as a solar farm
Iowa’s only nuclear plant in the works to become a solar farm
PALO — It has been a year since the Duane Arnold Energy Center — Iowa’s last remaining nuclear power plant — produced energy.
Scheduled to be decommissioned Oct. 30, 2020, the plant did not restart after the Aug. 10, 2020, derecho caused “extensive” damage to the facility’s cooling towers, according to NextEra Energy Resources, the plants owner.
Here’s more on the decommissioned nuclear plant:
Location: Near Palo, nine miles northwest of Cedar Rapids
Construction permit granted: June 1970
Full power operating license granted: February 1974
Commercial operations began: February 1975
Energy output: 615-megawatts, enough electricity to power 600,000 homes.
Workforce: Around 2019, the plant employed nearly 600 people.
Who was Duane Arnold?: Iowa Electric Light and Power Co., Central Iowa Power Cooperative and Corn Belt Power Cooperative applied for a nuclear plant license in the 1960s. Arnold was Iowa Electric Light and Power — now Alliant Energy — chairman and CEO until his death in 1983,
Ownership: NextEra Energy took control of operations in 2006.
2008 flood: The Cedar River crested 14 feet below the plant’s design flood level. The plant was able to operate safely during the historic flood.
What’s next?: NextEra is planning a 3,500-acre solar farm at and near the plant, which could produce up to 690 megawatts of solar energy.
Projected tax revenue: The project would create about $41.6 million in tax revenue.
Property payments: Agreements could result in $50 million in payments to landowners. Negotiations with property owners began this summer.
Here comes the sun: NextEra aims to have its solar facility operating in 2023.
Sources: NextEra Energy; The Gazette