“When I’m selling the state of Iowa to manufacturers around the world, I always mention our energy portfolio,” said Debi Durham, Director of . “It is surprising and differentiating that we can consistently, efficiently, and affordably meet the needs of a production-based economy with 40 percent renewable sources.”
The State of Iowa is a leader in renewable energy, thanks in-part to the Iowa Energy Plan released in December 2016. The Plan is a roadmap for maintaining the state’s momentum in the energy space and has been held up as a gold standard by industry experts. Iowa ranks second in the nation in wind generation and has a fast-growing solar energy market.
This research project has several implications for Iowa. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Iowa has among the highest demand charges in the nation, with many commercial customers paying demand charges over $20/kW. NREL research shows Iowa may have more than 23,000 customers who could benefit from solar plus battery energy storage.
This research also could provide a replicable template to increase business savings, bring solar to customers who otherwise would not be able to use it effectively and make Iowa even more nationally competitive. A state-level battery energy storage committee – formed in follow-up to the Energy Plan – will evaluate the findings of this research project and consider how to best apply lessons learned throughout Iowa.