Monthly Archives: October 2015

Deadline is approaching for tree program grants in Iowa

Communities interested in adding trees next year need to apply soon for our Branching Out program.

Branching Out is a nationally recognized grant program in which Alliant Energy, Trees Forever and a community work together to plant trees. The program encourages energy efficiency, environmental awareness and community stewardship in Iowa.

Branching Out is offered exclusively to communities we serve in Iowa. We give grants of $1,000 to $10,000 for community-based tree planting projects including streets, schools, public buildings, trails, parks, entranceways, cemeteries and more.

Trees Forever partners with us to facilitate the program, providing educational and planning support.

Grants are awarded twice a year. A community may apply and receive funding for multiple projects in a single grant cycle.

Grant Cycle Application Deadline Grants Announced Funding Awarded
Spring November 1 January 15 March 1-31
Fall June 1 August 15 September 1-30

Natural gas flows for the first time to Oakdale

This heating season, a major natural gas expansion project is bringing a new heating fuel to the Oakdale, Wisconsin area.

We started serving residents and businesses in and around the area with safe, reliable and cost-effective natural gas. For some customers, this allows a switch from wood, propane or electric heat.

This project is part a larger effort to develop and expand natural gas service to unserved and underserved communities in Wisconsin.

“This project will help unlock economic development opportunities in this area,” said John Larsen, president of Alliant Energy’s Wisconsin utility. “This is one of several expansion projects we are working on for our customers in Wisconsin. With more natural gas pipelines, we can deliver a cost-effective fuel and create a stronger Wisconsin.”

The project involved building more than 21 miles of pipeline from the City of New Lisbon to the Village of Oakdale to serve residential, commercial and industrial customers, at a cost of approximately $15 million. Construction crews broke ground this March. At times, there were more than 60 workers on site.

We are currently working on expansion projects near the communities of Beaver Dam and Oregon. These projects are expected to be complete in the next few weeks.

Alliant Energy to expand solar generation in Iowa

We are seeking to expand our renewable energy generation with solar power. In Iowa, we are issuing a request for proposals for new solar projects that could increase our system-wide solar generation by 50%.

“We’re in a transition right now as we continue to move to a cleaner energy future,” said Doug Kopp, president of Alliant Energy’s Iowa utility. “We’ve been increasing the use of different types of renewable energy for years, and now we are exploring ways to specifically provide solar power to our customers.”

The request is to build solar projects between one and 10 megawatts within our Iowa service territory, which could power between 200 and 2,000 average homes.

The RFP seeks a variety of options and configurations for new solar generation in Iowa, and we hope developers will bring innovation to their proposals.

“There are a variety of ways we could design and deploy solar energy,” said Kopp. “We will be considering a wide range of options, from larger utility-scale solar fields to smaller community solar programs. We will engage customers, key stakeholders and interested parties to help us develop the new program options, rates and services.”

We have helped Iowa customers connect 1,650 individual solar or wind systems to the electric system, and recognize that different customers need different options.

“The desire to tap into renewable energy is broader than the number of customers whose homes and businesses or incomes are suitable for rooftop solar, and we’re working on new energy solutions for our communities and customers,” said Kopp. “We’ll be listening to what our customers are interested in.”

Interested developers should email for a vendor pre-qualification form.

The RFP issued today is one component of the project’s evaluation process.

Request for proposals details

The RFP solicits utility ownership and/or long-term Purchased Power Agreement (PPA) proposals for new solar resources. The RFP is requesting that respondents install up to 10 megawatts of solar nameplate capacity and supply energy to Alliant Energy’s Iowa customers beginning in fourth quarter 2016. Notification of Intent to Bid is due October 15, 2015.