The future of solar energy is bright

We are acting today to create a better tomorrow for our customers and communities. A sensible, planned move to clean energy sources is the way to solve many of our energy challenges. Our energy mix combines clean and renewable sources with traditional ones. We are transforming our energy fleet with an eye on customer cost, carbon reduction and providing cleaner and reliable power to the communities we serve. One way we are  advancing clean energy and reducing emissions is by adding solar.

Iowa solar projects

Dubuque Solar project

The Dubuque Solar project is a combination of two sites, the West Dubuque Solar Garden and the Port of Dubuque Solar Garden. This project earned the Envision Platinum rating for sustainable infrastructure – the highest Envision award level. This is the first solar project to receive Envision recognition.

Watch our video about the Dubuque Solar Project

West Dubuque Solar Garden

The West Dubuque Solar Garden is the largest single solar project in Iowa. In September 2017, the West Dubuque Solar Garden came online to bring clean energy to customers. This five-megawatt site uses more than 15,000 panels.

The annual output of this solar garden is equal to the annual usage of about 727 average Iowa homes. The site covers 21.1 acres of land in a new industrial park in Dubuque, Iowa. This land was sloped and not ideal to build a large manufacturing facility. However, this slope is ideal for a solar garden. Because of the slope, we are able to place the panels closer together without casting shade on the back rows – just like stadium seating.

The West Dubuque Solar Garden and the Port of Dubuque Solar Garden are the result of innovative partnership with the city of Dubuque and the Greater Dubuque Development Corporation.

Port of Dubuque Solar Garden

The Port of Dubuque Solar Garden welcomes travelers from the tri-states (Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois). This project is located between downtown Dubuque and the Mississippi River. The Port of Dubuque Solar Garden features an educational display and information to teach visitors about advancements in clean energy technology.

This is a 1.2-megawatt solar garden, and its annual output is equal to the annual usage of about 126 average Iowa homes. It started generating clean energy in September 2017.

The Port of Dubuque Solar Garden is located on a former industrial site, currently owned by A.Y. McDonald Co.

Indian Creek Nature Center solar project

The Amazing Space facility at the Indian Creek Nature Center in Cedar Rapids reached Net Zero status in 2018. An Alliant Energy owned solar array, built on site, delivers enough energy to account for the buildings annual usage. This achievement puts the building in a class of its own as Indian Creek Nature Center is the first commercial building in Iowa to pursue Net Zero Energy certification.

There are 420 solar panels on site, some on the roof and some on the ground. You can see real-time information on how much energy the panels are producing today, this month and even this year. This data helps  us identify what works best in our climate. This helps us plan to meet the energy needs of our customers as efficiently and cleanly as possible.

Visit Indian Creek Nature Center’s website to learn how they built sustainability into every aspect of Amazing Space!

Marshalltown Generating Station integrated solar project

In spring 2017, our 706-megawatt, highly efficient natural gas generating station went into operation in Marshalltown, Iowa.  In early 2019, we will begin construction of a 3.5-megawatt solar installation that will be integrated into the natural gas generating station. When completed in late 2019, the solar garden’s power will offset the facilities’ auxiliary power needs and improve the natural gas generating station’s sustainability.

Learn more about the Marshalltown Generating Station

Wisconsin solar projects

Madison solar demonstration project

We’ve created an energy learning lab at our Madison, Wis. campus with several types of solar structures, multiple electric vehicle charging stations and a battery energy battery storage system.

You’ll find 1,325 solar panels, 30 ground-mounted solar features, nine roof-mounted solar arrays, five solar parking canopies, 18 electric vehicle chargers, plus more, on our office property.

The unique demonstration project went into service in early 2016. It continues to grow through added educational outreach resources and more structures. For example, there is now real-time performance data available through a web-based dashboard.

Learn more about the project and access the data dashboard

Rock River solar project

 In winter 2016, we began providing our customers with energy from the 2.3-megawatt Rock River solar project through a 10-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Hanwha Q Cells USA. The solar field is located on our closed Rock River Generating Station landfill site in the Town of Beloit, just to the north of the city of Beloit.

The installation is the first Wisconsin utility-scale solar installation located on a closed landfill site and represents another step in modernizing our Town of Beloit energy campus.

West Riverside Energy Center integrated solar project

Our 730-megawatt natural gas-fired generating station under construction on our Town of Beloit energy campus will include a 4-5-megawatt solar installation integrated into the generating station. The solar power will be used to offset the facilities’ auxiliary power needs and improve the project’s sustainability.

The West Riverside Energy Center natural gas and solar facilities are expected to be completed and in service by early 2020.

Learn more about the West Riverside Energy Center project

Interested in generating your own solar energy?

The steps below will help you get started. You can also check out our solar energy video series to learn more about solar energy for the home.

  1. Decide if rooftop solar is right for you.

    You’re more likely to have a good return on your investment if your electric bills are high and you have a roof that can take maximum advantage of the sun.


  2. Reduce your energy use.

    By investing in energy-efficiency upgrades, you can reduce the size and cost of the solar system you need to install.

  3. Figure out your bottom line.

    While you can choose the number and location of panels on your home, other variables are harder to predict.

  4. Get the right advice.

    Before you begin, talk to solar installers, your tax professional, insurance agent, real estate professional and your local fire department.

  5. Let us help you connect your system with ours.

    Our interconnection process helps ensure a smooth process when you connect with our system.

    Learn more about generating your own solar

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A clean energy future

How are we going to get there? With a strong strategy that includes renewable and highly efficient energy sources.

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