What Happens in Texas… Doesn’t Stay in Texas: Iowa Customers Set to See Higher Natural Gas Bills

By Joel Zook The Polar Vortex of 2021 was an anomaly compared to normal years. The polar vortex is far above the polar jet stream in the stratosphere and typically doesn’t interact with it. When the polar vortex is strong and stable, the polar jet stream below it stays farther north and keeps cold air contained over the Arctic. Every few years the polar vortex dramatically weakens, and can even be pushed off

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Energy Lunch Recap: SOO Green Line

Written by Max Walker The Winneshiek Energy District held an energy lunch for a presentation on the SOO Green High Voltage Direct Current Link, or SOO Green Line. The SOO Green Line is an electrical transmission line that will travel from Mason City, Iowa to Plano, Illinois. This transmission line will connect two of the primary renewable energy markets of the Midwest. The broad goal of the project is to

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Life With Renewables

By Jim Fritz I was a sophomore in high school for the first Earth Day. We had a whole day devoted to it with speakers, activities, etc. Our biology teacher (I nearly became a biology teacher because of him) was the spearhead. It changed me. Later my dad and I made a passive solar hot air collector from beer cans spray painted black. It worked pretty well! I designed an

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Watts Cooking?

Martin Donovan, Green Iowa Americorps When you’re cooking up ways to increase the efficiency of your home, upgrading your stove to an induction cooktop could be a fun and useful thing to consider. Unlike electric or gas cooktops, induction burners directly heat pots and pans. But what does direct heat actually mean? When cooking with electric stoves, a lot of energy is used to heat metal coils which then heats

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Action Alert Update: Iowa’s Solar Tax Credit, 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 needs your support! This Iowa Solar Energy Trade Association page is an excellent resource

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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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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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Decorah Franchise Under Duress?

The Decorah City Council is currently being pressured by Alliant into signing a long-term electric franchise contract. The issue at stake is, who will own and reap the prosperity benefits from the clean energy future – our community, or Alliant shareholders? The Council has passed – and Alliant has rejected – a draft franchise contract that would meet all of Alliant’s terms except for the binding contract length. Council wants

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What you need to know about solar in 2020

Interested in investing in solar for your home, farm, or business? 2020 is the perfect time to go solar!  A combination of low solar costs combined with federal and state tax credits (which are decreasing each year) and rising electricity rates makes now a great time to install solar. Our very own Joel Zook, energy planner at Winneshiek Energy District, holistically details the need-to-know concepts for anyone considering the benefits

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