Environmental groups say Interstate Power’s energy efficiency plan should be stronger


Photo by John Simonson; Flickr

Environmental groups say the state has failed to push Alliant Energy’s Interstate Power & Light far enough on saving energy over the next five years.

The company says it will invest a total of nearly $400 million from ratepayers to fund energy efficiency efforts, almost the same amount as spent in the previous five years. 

To learn more about the issue, head over to the Des Moines Register. 

On the Radio: Alliant chooses natural gas over coal


Photo by rocketjim54, Flickr.

Listen to this week’s radio segment here or read the transcript below. This week’s episode highlights Alliant Energy’s decision to build a natural gas plant in Marshalltown, Iowa.

Influenced by environmental concerns, Alliant Energy has changed their focus from building a coal fire power plant to building a natural gas plant in Marshalltown.

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.

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Alliant Energy to built natural gas power plant in Marshalltown


Photo by rocketjim54, Flickr.

Alliant Energy has announced plans to build a power plant in Marshalltown fueled by natural gas. Originally, Alliant wanted to build a coal-fired plant, but they changed their plans due to public outcry.

Alliant also plans to invest $430 million in environmental upgrades at their coal plants in Ottumwa and Lansing.

If Alliant’s plans are approved, the power plant in Marshalltown will open in 2017.

Read more from the Des Moines Register here.

Year’s hottest day prompts record energy usage


Photo by Tessss, Flickr.

Alliant Energy reported record-breaking peak energy usage on Wednesday, the hottest day so far in Iowa’s abnormally hot summer.

The peak usage of 3,724 megawatts occurred at 5pm in Alliant’s “West Control Area,” which covers Iowa and Minnesota. The previous record of 3,699 megawatts was set on July 18th, 2011.

“A number of days with high energy usage this summer remind us that an ample supply of electric generation is critical for our customers today and in the future,” said Tom Aller, president of Interstate Power and Light Company, a subsidiary of Alliant Energy.

For more information, read the full article at The Gazette.

UI’s Urban and Regional Planning students help Dubuque assess renewable energy options



Dubuque, Iowa. Photo by yark64, Flickr.

With Alliant Energy’s Dubuque Power Plant closing by 2015, University of Iowa’s Urban and Regional Planning graduate students are working with the city of Dubuque to figure out renewable energy options.

Some of the renewable energy options include ground source heat pumps, solar, wind and biomass.

Another part of the project focuses on linking local food producers to four of the colleges in the area.

Read more about the Dubuque projects here.

Kirkwood Community College adds wind turbine


Photo by ali_pk, Flickr

Kirkwood Community College’s wind turbine is up and running. The turbine cost the school $5.2 million, but the energy generated each year will be sold to Alliant Energy for an estimated $300,000.

Additionally, some students in Kirkwood’s Energy Production and Distribution Technologies program will use the turbine as part of their training for a future in wind energy.

This training is in high demand in Iowa, as MidAmerican Energy alone will build 176 new wind turbines this year.

Read more about the turbine and Kirkwood’s program here.

Landfill board votes against waste-to-energy plant


A waste-to-energy plant in Baltimore. Photo by spike55151, Flickr

The Landfill of North Iowa Board voted against plans to create a waste-to-energy plant in Mason City. The $35 million proposed plant would have converted solid waste heading to a landfill into synthetic gas, which could have been burned to create electricity, and then sold to Alliant Energy.

The plant would have created more than 50 jobs.

Some of the board members who voted against the plant worried that the project was being rushed into.

Read the full article from the Globe Gazette here.

A day in the life of an Iowa wind technician


Check out this video by The Center for American Progress which showcases Nathan Crawford, a Wind Technician at Alliant Energy’s Whispering Willow Wind Farm in Franklin County, Iowa.

Wind energy provides power to the equivalent of 900,000 homes in Iowa.

For more information, view the full article at the Center for American Progress, here.

EPA air quality regulations will cause mass power plant closures


Photo by kenudigit, Flickr

New EPA air pollution regulations will force at least 32 coal-fired power plants to close.

Among the plants threatened by the regulations are four Alliant Energy plants in Iowa.

The plant shutdowns could cause blackouts. Also, electric bills are expected to increase in order to compensate for the increased expenditures of energy companies trying to meet regulations.

For more information on the regulations and the plant shutdowns, read the Star-Telegram article here.

New wind farm coming to Franklin County


Photo by Brooke Raymond, Flickr.

Iowa will have one more wind energy farm in it by the end of the year if Alliant Energy has its way.

Read more from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel here:

Alliant Energy Corp. will build another wind farm, even though its two regulated utilities already are on track to comply with renewable energy targets in Wisconsin and Iowa, the Madison company said Thursday. Continue reading