Being a good neighbor is a role we take very seriously. As a utility provider, we consider ourselves active, invested members of the communities we serve. In fact, it’s a part of our core values, which reside at the heart of everything we do. As part of our dedication to caring for others, we work diligently with landowners, partners and community members to develop projects that work in harmony with the land and the needs of those we serve.
Expansion with a community focus
Renewable energy is expanding at a significant and promising pace across the country. That means it’s more important than ever for us to ensure we’re communicating with our neighbors about any upcoming developments. Prior to renewable energy projects ever coming up for consideration, our regulatory system in both Iowa and Wisconsin provides the public with significant transparency and opportunities for public input. We believe this collaboration with community members in and around proposed development sites is vital to achieving the benefits of renewable energy for everyone involved.
State laws in Iowa and Wisconsin require that all siting, land use and local zoning for renewable projects have substantial public comment, notice and permitting by local officials before construction begins. Local government entities in a proposed project’s footprint are also involved in the siting and zoning process at the township or county level via conditional use permits (CUPs). CUPs allow landowners to have their property developed for an agreed-upon use outside the normal zoning process. CUPs require oversight and approval by local officials, as well as involvement from the public. They are dependent on an applicant’s compliance with the standards specified in the zoning code as conditions for permit approval.
While process specifics may vary based on location, potential renewable energy projects are typically subject to technical review once a formal application is submitted. This is usually followed by multiple rounds of public comment as the county planning and zoning process proceeds. During this phase, county agencies are involved to provide input and ensure various environmental and water quality aspects are considered before construction begins.
Working together towards a brighter future
Collaboration carries through every aspect of our clean energy development process. We are deeply committed to providing our community partners and neighbors with transparency, timely information and two-way communication as we develop a cleaner future together.