Alliant Energy announces plans for Iowa’s largest solar farm

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PALO, Iowa (AP) — Alliant Energy has announced plans to buy and expand an existing solar farm project at Palo to make it Iowa’s largest solar and battery storage facility.

Alliant, based in Madison, Wisconsin, said in a news release that it wants to buy the project located at the decommissioned nuclear Duane Arnold Energy Center at Palo from NextEra Energy and filed the proposal Tuesday with the Iowa Utilities Board.

The plan would have NextEra continue developing its 200-megawatt solar field and 75-megawatt battery storage facility. Alliant would then buy the completed project and add another 200 megawatts of solar at a later date.

The proposed project would create up to 200 new construction jobs, Alliant said, as well as additional tax revenue and other economic benefits. The project can use power transmission infrastructure already in place at Duane Arnold Energy Center, the company said.

Combined with Alliant’s existing 1,300 megawatts of wind generation in Iowa, the Palo solar farm would bring the company’s power generation from renewable sources to nearly 50%, Alliant said. Alliant says it’s on pace to meet this 50% renewable-energy milestone by 2025. The company seeks to be at net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Alliant said it expects the Iowa Utility Board’s decision on the project by the second half of 2022.

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