CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – July 12, 2022 – Cedar Rapids will soon be the home of Alliant Energy’s first community solar garden in Iowa. The location has long been in the company’s sights for a solar garden project and is in direct response to customer requests for additional opportunities to access renewable energy.
The Cedar Rapids-based garden is part of the Alliant Energy ® Community Solar program, which allows the company’s electric customers to benefit from solar power without installing solar panels on their property. Subscribers receive monthly credits on electric bills for every block of energy purchased. Credits will begin once the garden is operational and continue for the 20-year life of the project. The garden will consist of 18,000 solar blocks. Each 250-watt block will produce an estimated average of 541 kilowatt-hours annually.
“We are excited for our Iowa customers to enjoy the benefits of clean, renewable energy,” said Terry Kouba, president of Alliant Energy's Iowa energy company. “We anticipate all blocks will be sold quickly given the level of interest we’ve gathered from our Iowa customers. The Community Solar program is just one more way we can use our knowledge and resources to serve our customers while bringing them options and solutions to meet their needs.”
The garden will be located north of the 1100 block of 33rd Avenue SW on company-owned property. Alliant Energy began construction this summer with estimated completion of late summer 2023. At maximum output the 4.5-megawatt solar project could power 3,600 homes.
Among those already interested are local based, global businesses, including Transamerica and Aegon Asset Management (Aegon AM). The diversified insurance and investment group has committed to purchase 60% of the garden’s solar blocks and become the anchor tenant for the project.
“At Transamerica and Aegon AM, we have embedded sustainability as a central pillar within our company strategy,” said Chris Thompson, US CEO at Aegon AM. “Guided by our purpose, we aim to positively impact society and the environment, and we are committed to supporting the transition to a climate-resilient economy and a net-zero world. Part of that transition is participating in renewable energy opportunities like the Community Solar program in Cedar Rapids.”
Transamerica is recognized as a leading provider of life insurance, retirement, and investment solutions, serving millions of customers throughout the United States, with major operations in Cedar Rapids. Transamerica is part of the Aegon group of companies.
Participation in the solar community garden offers Transamerica and Aegon the opportunity to benefit from clean energy and receive renewable energy credits.
“We’ve learned that businesses, like Transamerica and Aegon AM, are increasingly interested in solar and renewables as efficient ways to meet sustainability goals,” said May Farlinger, Vice President of Customer & Community Engagement, Alliant Energy. “The simplicity and flexibility of community solar allows companies, especially those with multiple locations, to benefit from clean energy without the need to build, operate and maintain their own systems.”
The community solar garden will benefit business and residential customers as well as those in need. To build stronger communities and support those in need while creating a healthier and cleaner environment, Alliant Energy will donate up to $400,000 in solar blocks from the Cedar Rapids community solar garden to Cedar Valley Habitat for Humanity homeowners.
“We appreciate Alliant Energy’s donation from its community solar project and willingness to support our efforts to help local families,” said Brittany Scanlon, Executive Director, Cedar Valley Habitat for Humanity. “Alongside their affordable Habitat mortgage, this partnership will further empower Cedar Valley Habitat homeowners through savings on the cost of their energy bills. Taking away the pressures of staying housed and keeping the lights on allows our families to focus on opportunities to improve their health, transportation, education, employment, and more.”
Over the 20-year life of the garden, Alliant Energy will issue up to $600,000 in bill credits to Habitat for Humanity’s participating residents, bringing the total donation to an estimated $1 million.
“Alliant Energy is proud to partner with Cedar Valley Habitat for Humanity to bring the benefits of local clean energy to families they serve,” said Kouba.
Between the donation to Habitat for Humanity and Transamerica’s anchor tenant subscription, 66% of solar blocks have been reserved. There remain over 6,000 blocks available for subscription. Enrollment in the project is open for Alliant Energy’s Iowa electric customers on a first-come, first-served basis. Solar blocks are priced at $395 each.
Solar blocks can also be purchased for another Alliant Energy electric customer or donated to the Hometown Care Energy Fund. The gift helps family, friends, neighbors or nonprofit organizations receive 20 years of solar benefits. For more information, to subscribe or donate, visit alliantenergy.com/communitysolar.
This is the second of multiple community solar locations Alliant Energy has planned across Iowa and Wisconsin. The first, in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, became operational in late 2021.
The Cedar Rapids community solar garden is an important milestone in Alliant Energy’s Clean Energy Blueprint, the company's roadmap to accelerate its transition to renewable energy. It puts the company on a path to achieve its Clean Energy Vision, which includes a goal to attain net-zero carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation by 2050.
Alliant Energy Corporation (NASDAQ: LNT) provides regulated energy service to 985,000 electric and 425,000 natural gas customers across Iowa and Wisconsin. Alliant Energy's mission is to deliver 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 is a component of the Nasdaq CRD Sustainability Index, Bloomberg's 2022 Gender-Equality Index, and the S&P 500. For more information, visit alliantenergy.com and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.