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Replacing fossil fuels with the sun and wind?

Fossil fuels have generated consistent energy for decades, and coal-fired facilities across the United States account for approximately 20% of energy production in 2022. We produced approximately 40% of our energy from each natural gas and renewables, with coal plants accounting for roughly the final 20% of our energy generation last year.

At Alliant Energy, our Edgewater, Columbia, and Lansing generation stations have been around for more than 50 years. They helped us meet base load requirements, which are the minimum amount of power needed to supply the electric grid at any point.

Over time, however, technological advances have enabled more cost-effective and environmentally friendly sources of power. As we move toward generating energy from cleaner sources (like wind and solar), we are also moving away from coal-fired power plants.

In fact, by 2040, as outlined in our Clean Energy Vision, we expect to be fully out of coal generation. To replace the energy created by the coal-fired facilities, we are following our Clean Energy Blueprint, which includes continuing to rely on natural gas to meet energy needs.

In recent years, we’ve constructed highly efficient, state-of-the-art natural gas facilities in Wisconsin (West Riverside plant) and Iowa (Marshalltown Generating Station). Combined, these facilities can power more than 1 million homes at peak production. We’re also looking for ways to create more resiliency and efficiency with our expansive existing facilities.

These projects, along with our wind fleet, allow us to confidently integrate solar power onto the grid while providing the reliable energy customers have come to expect. By the end of 2024, we’re planning to have nearly 1,500 MW of solar energy generation. In Wisconsin, we’re adding 1,089 MW of solar energy and in Iowa, we’re planning for 400 MW of solar.

To further complement and strengthen the reliability of our energy generation, we’re planning to add nearly 450 MW of battery storage across both Iowa and Wisconsin. Collectively, battery storage will provide energy at a moment’s notice when energy use spikes on hot summer days or for cloudy days when there’s not much sunlight.

The key to transitioning to cleaner energy sources is having a diverse mix of energy generation sources that complement each other to make our grid even stronger.

Learn more about our progress on these efforts through our Clean Energy Blueprint.
Chris is a Communications Partner specializing in Alliant Energy’s renewable investments. Coming from a journalism background, he’s excited to tell the story of Alliant Energy’s Clean Energy Blueprint and other renewable trends in new and exciting ways.

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