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Letter to the Editor: "Alliant Energy stands ready to be Decorah's clean energy partner"

Posted: Tue, Dec 8, 2020 10:55 AM

(In response to the Decorah City Council's vote Monday night to set up a task force to explore another Municipal Electric Utility referendum. Alliant Energy Director of Operations Marty Mensen has submitted the following Letter to the Editor):

"As Decorah works through its sustainability plan, Alliant Energy stands ready to participate as the city's clean energy partner.
Last week, we announced the Iowa Utilities Board verified that more than a quarter of the electricity we supplied to customers in 2019 came from renewable resources. The percentage is only going to grow now that we have completed the buildout of 1,000 MW of new wind energy in Iowa along with plans for adding 400 MW of solar generation as outlined in our Clean Energy Blueprint. Collectively, Alliant Energy's wind projects provide power to approximately 430,000 Iowa homes.

Alliant Energy's actions ensure nearly half of our generation portfolio in Iowa will be from renewables by the end of 2023. These steps also position us to achieve our stated goals of 50% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030 and elimination of all coal from our generation fleet by 2040.

Our Clean Energy Blueprint also includes increasing our use of energy storage technology. Decorah already plays an important part in this transition. Alliant Energy employees will soon finish installing our battery that sits in Vennehjem Park. This battery will allow us to manage a busy circuit in town while continuing to support additional customer-owned solar systems. This national research project is one of the few in the country that's using a battery for this purpose.

As we look to our future in Decorah, we were pleased with the new 15-year franchise agreement reached with the city in September. Our team continues to collaborate with the city on streetlight improvements and new EV charging stations. We're also engaged with the city on plans for a new Decorah operations center.   

Our relationship with the city of Decorah has continued to evolve as we are guided by our purpose-driven strategy to serve customers and help build stronger communities. We look forward to working closely with the city and discussing the benefits of Clean Energy in the coming months."