Tyler Chalfant | April 7th, 2020
In March, the Iowa legislature unanimously passed a bill to protect private investments in solar energy. The bill, dubbed the “Solar Act,” results from months of negotiations between environmental groups, agriculture, and utility company MidAmerican Energy.
Proponents of the new law say that it will expand solar energy in the state, while addressing MidAmerican’s concerns about costs, the latter of which led to a controversial proposal made by the utility company last year. That initial proposal included a $300 fee for consumers who wanted to take advantage of net metering.
Net metering credits consumers who have installed solar panels for the electricity they are adding to the grid. The Solar Act writes this system into state law, and is also supported by MidAmerican as well as by environmental and agricultural groups.
Representatives of the Iowa Pork Producers Association, which joined environmental groups in opposing MidAmerican’s initial proposal, say that the law offers certainty to farmers who want to install solar panels or wind turbines on their property.