Iowa ready for significant growth in solar energy
Friday, February 14, 2014 7:00 AM
As the cost of photovoltaic cells continues to fall, the number of solar energy projects installed in Iowa has increased dramatically. According to a new report by the Iowa Environmental Council, 86 solar projects were installed within the service territories of MidAmerican Energy Co. and Alliant Energy Corp. in 2012, a fourfold increase from 2011. Statewide, however, that added up to less than 1 megawatt of additional solar capacity installed in Iowa in 2012. Although Iowa’s solar resources and potential are as good as or better than four of the 10 leading states - New Jersey, North Carolina, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, those states’ levels of solar installation activity in 2012 were significantly higher than Iowa’s. Adding 300 megawatts of solar PV in Iowa over a five-year period would create an average of 2,500 jobs for each of those five years.