February Newsletter Briefs

Action Alert: Save Iowa’s Solar Tax Credit; then Stop Natural Gas Protectionism Andy Johnson, Executive Director Iowa’s solar tax credit has been critical to the growth of locally-owned solar in Winneshiek County and throughout Iowa. Thanks to oversubscription and linkage with a phasing out federal credit, its future is in jeopardy. House File 221 would pay down the wait list, raise the annual cap, and decouple from the federal credit, and

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January Newsletter Briefs

Iowa Farmer And Banker Agree On Solar Tax Credits; Cedar Rapids Gazette Op-ed Written by Andy Johnson, Executive Director and Larry Grimstad, Board Member What do this farmer and banker have in common, besides a love for our rural Iowa community and county? Locally owned solar power. It brings jobs, wealth, light and a healthier home place everywhere it goes. Solar is happening right here in our home county of

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To All Our Donors, Thank You for Your Support! 

As we wrap up our 2020 Membership Drive, we are filled with gratitude for all of our member donors who were able to give to support our mission of advancing the clean energy transition. 2020 was WED’s tenth birthday so this membership season was extra special.  Thank you to all of you who have been members since the beginning, to all of our new members, and who give when you can!

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Honey Bees in a Solar Field: A Sweet Combination

By Maggie Anderson, Green Iowa Americorps  Joel Fassbinder, local beekeeper and owner of Highlandville Honey Farm, enhances the newly emerging and exciting environmentally friendly technique of putting pollinator habitat underneath solar arrays, thanks to his honey bee hives located in a solar field! Dramatic declines in insect abundance and diversity are becoming increasingly well documented worldwide, largely as a result of global warming and habitat loss. There is a need

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Solar in 2021

by Joel Zook, Energy Planner 2021 is going to be another exciting year for solar. It’s a big deal that federal tax credits have been extended, net-metering laws are in place for Iowa’s investor-owned utilities (Alliant Energy and MidAmerican Energy) that give long term peace of mind to solar owners, AND the state legislature is looking at renewing and extending the state solar tax credit. Meanwhile, installed prices continue their

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Clean Energy and Conservation

Cody Smith, Policy Associate at the Center for Rural Affairs, works on midwest policies that help amplify the positive effects of clean energy. There are many opportunity to combine clean, renewable energy infrastructure with beneficial habitat for native species.  Whether planting pollinator habitat under solar panels, creating migratory bird corridors along transmission lines, or improving habitat around wind turbines, there are lots of exciting ways to link clean energy and

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In Defense of Net Metering (Continued!)

Andy Johnson, Executive Director In March, the Iowa Legislature passed SF 583, meant to codify net metering and support customer-owned solar in Iowa for years to come. In July, Alliant and MidAmerican submitted tariffs to the Iowa Utilities Board that did not conform to the letter and spirit of the law. WED and others objected, the Board has now docketed the tariffs and we are submitting extensive testimony on key

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Electric Vehicle Showcase Review

From August 8th through October 3rd, Winneshiek Energy District presented a Electric Vehicle Showcase at the Decorah Farmers Market.  Each week, we had an electric vehicle with it’s owner-ambassador at the farmers market.  All of our owner-ambassadors live in Iowa and use their cars for their daily commutes, trips around town, and even for road trips! Below is the full list of cars with a little synopsis of each: August

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Welcome, New Green Iowa Americorps Team!

Heidi Eger, Communications On September 24th, 2020 the new team of Green Iowa Americorps members arrived at the WED office.  We are excited to have each of the 5 new members joining us for an 11 month term at the Winneshiek Energy District. All are 2020 Luther grads so they know the layout of town and are ready to get to work! At the beginning of the term, the team

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Deep Roots

Briana Burke, Green Iowa Education Coordinator Prairies are one of the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world- meaning they have a lot of different types of plants and animals that live there. However, it is also one of the most endangered ecosystems. In Iowa, it is estimated that less than 0.1% of the prairie that used to cover the state remains. In 2002, the Decorah City Council moved to convert

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