AMES, IA – (November 4, 2021) – Alliant Energy and Iowa State University will collaborate on a solar farm to be established on university land south of Ames.
The Iowa Board of Regents has approved a request from Iowa State to proceed with the development of the solar farm and to enter into a lease agreement with Alliant Energy. Alliant Energy will design, construct, own, operate and maintain the solar farm.
“This new collaboration is the latest in our long-standing partnership with Alliant Energy to prepare our communities, state and nation for the future of energy and power,” said Iowa State University President Wendy Wintersteen. “The public-private partnership represented in the new solar farm will be a significant step in making progress on our mutual renewable energy and sustainability goals.”
Last year, Wintersteen endorsed a five-year strategic plan for sustainability in operations, which includes goals for tripling the use of renewable energies and a longer-term goal of carbon neutrality.
The solar farm also furthers Alliant Energy’s goals to eliminate all coal from its generation fleet by 2040 and achieve net-zero carbon dioxide emissions from the electricity it generates by 2050.
“Iowa State University has been an outstanding partner and we are proud to work with them as we strive toward sustainability together,” said Terry Kouba, president of Alliant Energy’s Iowa utility. “Alliant Energy has proudly served customers for more than 100 years and we look forward to using innovation to continue to deliver safe, reliable, cleaner energy to customers and communities.”
The solar farm will be located on land that is part of animal science teaching and research farms managed by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and its Department of Animal Science. The farms are devoted to beef, sheep, swine, poultry and dairy, and also include the Ag450 Farm, the only student-managed farm at the nation’s land-grant schools.
The up to 900-kilowatt solar farm, at maximum output, could power 230 homes annually and will provide an equal amount of electricity to nearby teaching and research farms. Iowa State will receive renewable energy credits generated by the solar farm, which will off-set a portion of the university’s annual carbon emissions.
Beyond the production of renewable energy, Alliant Energy and Iowa State University are exploring future partnerships to take advantage of the solar farm for education, research, demonstration and training purposes.
“We believe this site could provide the opportunity for us to demonstrate how solar energy and solar farms can be successfully integrated into rural communities, and to help communities understand the role of renewable energy in agriculture and beyond,” said Daniel J. Robison, holder of the Dean’s Endowed Chair in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “We certainly foresee great opportunities for our students to learn more about renewable energy in this kind of farm setting.”
The Alliant Energy® Customer-Hosted Renewables program enables customers with available land to host solar facilities and receive lease payments and renewable energy credits. It is part of Alliant Energy’s Clean Energy Vision to attain net-zero carbon dioxide emissions from the electricity it generates by 2050.
Construction could begin in late 2022 or 2023. Construction and timeline for the solar farm is contingent on survey results, permitting, regulatory changes and equipment supply.
About Alliant Energy
Alliant Energy Corporation (NASDQ: LNT) provides regulated energy service to 970,000 electric and 420,000 natural gas customers across Iowa and Wisconsin. Alliant Energy’s mission is to deliver the energy solutions and exceptional service customers and communities count on – safely, efficiently and responsibly. Interstate Power and Light Company and Wisconsin Power and Light Company are Alliant Energy’s two public energy companies. Alliant Energy Corporation is a component of the Nasdaq CRD Sustainability Index, Bloomberg’s 2020 Gender-Equality Index, and the S&P 500. For more information, visit alliantenergy.com and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
About Iowa State University
Iowa State University is a renowned public research university with a comprehensive land-grant mission of education, innovation, extension and outreach that benefits Iowans and the world. Iowa State enrolls more than 30,700 students and employs more than 6,000 faculty and staff. Innovate at Iowa State reflects the university’s national leadership for providing innovative and entrepreneurial opportunities for students of diverse backgrounds. ISU is one of the top 100 universities worldwide granted U.S. patents, and was the recipient of the 2020 Innovation and Economic Prosperity Innovation Award from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, recognizing exemplary initiatives spurring innovation, entrepreneurship and technology-based economic development.