Iowa Needs Renewables, and Renewables Need Transmission
Andy Johnson, Executive Director
This message was central to comments submitted by the Clean Energy Districts of Iowa in a new investigative docket on transmission opened by the Iowa Utilities Board, , INU-2021-0001.
Unfortunately, we are seeing growing headwinds in Iowa for renewable energy at all scales. These include the Legislature’s failure to renew the Iowa solar energy tax credits was one example, an apparently fossil-fuel funded campaign to spread lies and anger about large-scale solar and wind developments, and a bio-fuel based backlash against electric vehicles. We’re worried the Utilities Board may be unnecessarily feeding that fire with the current transmission docket.
CEDI’s comments (led by WED’s Jim Martin-Schramm) focused around three points:
- Iowa policy clearly supports renewable energy at all scales, and transmission is necessary
- Comprehensive transmission planning already occurs at the regional “MISO” level, and the Board could certainly engage further there
- Significant opportunities also exist for the Board to support non-transmission alternatives and to reduce transmission cost disparities among Iowa ratepayers