Iowa’s Largest Solar Farm Up and Running

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Iowa — The state’s largest solar farm opened this week in eastern Iowa. It will generate enough energy to power over 100 homes and businesses.

The solar energy farm is located near Kalona, in Washington County. Three-thousand solar panels will generate electricity for about 650 members of the Farmer’s Electric Cooperative.

KWWL reports Farmers Hen House is one of those customers. The company ships organic eggs across the country.

The owner says solar energy is the perfect fit for his farm, which is about three times larger than others in the state.

“Eventually the utilities are going to catch on and make this a part of their energy matrix and you’re going to see solar fields that are just gonna dwarf this,” says Barry Shear, President of Eagle Point Solar.

The project cost about $2 million. Farmer’s Electric hopes to double the size of the solar farm over the next decade.

4 comments

  • Dan

    Ever notice solar power never has a down side? Like how much taxpayer money is in incentives? Like 2 milion after the incentives or before? More likely after your tax money. Like this is a 10 year payout at $ 166 a month per house, without interest of course. Like no maintenance costs. Your tax dollars at work. Everybody wants to go green, till they find out what it costs.

  • Randy Graven

    Did you ever look into all the subsidies to the coal and natural gas companies and the pipeline companies and railroads that transport them? Who do you think is paying for those?

  • William Denison

    The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) announced back in November that its energy office had acquired the three-year grant, which was designed and provided by the U.S. Department of Energy. The purpose was to speed up solar installations across the state by updating the rules regarding permitting, inspections, and connections to the grid. A press release at the time quoted Branstad as saying that “Iowa should be at the front of the pack” in solar energy. But after months of wrangling over the terms of the project between the two offices, negotiations fell apart in April and both sides agreed to terminate the grant.

    On Monday, Hatch held up the grant as evidence that “the current governor is giving in to special interests in the utility industry,” the Cedar Rapids Gazette reported.

  • Boces

    I’m with Dan. They say the cost is $2.2 million. Plus subsidies? Plus interest? Plus maintenance? Plus cost of the land? What about night time and cloudy days: we need to use backup energy from conventional sources. Studies have been done in England, and they can’t even measure any reduction in coal use for electrical generation from their wind and solar “investments.” This is money spent for no measurable economic benefit, like most Government Programs.

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