Julia Shanahan | June 7th, 2019
South Sioux City, located in northeast Nebraska, will become a “demonstration site” this winter for the storage of electric power generated by the city’s 1,200 solar panels.
A large battery, described as a “semi trailer without wheels”, will be able to store 1.5 megawatts of power and cost about $1.8 million, according to a report from the Iowa-based Sioux City Journal. This project is a big step in the field of renewable energy because power would be able to be stored for days with less wind or sunlight.
The report also said that solar energy makes up roughly 5 percent of the city’s electricity usage, and that South Sioux City now gets about half of its electricity from renewable sources, like solar, wind, and hydroelectric power. In Iowa, about 2 percent of renewable energy comes from a source other than wind.
The city hopes to continue taking steps to lessen its dependence on the Nebraska Public Power District, and eventually fully phase out of their contract.
As South Sioux City takes steps toward utilizing sustainable energy, Iowa remains a leading state in the field of renewable energy.
In 2018, Iowa’s 3,400 wind turbines produced 34 percent of the state’s electricity – the second highest share for any state, according to the U.S. Energy Information System. Additionally, among the top five energy-consuming states, Iowa was the only non-crude oil-producing state on a per-capita basis in 2018.
Iowa also remains the largest producer of ethanol in the U.S., producing one-fourthof the country’s ethanol production capacity.