4.5 MW Cedar Rapids community solar garden begins operations in Iowa

alliant energy cedar rapids

The Cedar Rapids community solar garden is now generating renewable energy for the more than 300 Alliant Energy customers who subscribed to the utility’s first community solar garden in Iowa. The 4.5 MW garden is Alliant Energy’s largest operational solar project to date in Iowa. 

Alliant Energy began constructing the project in 2021. It is north of the 1100 block of 33rd Avenue SW on Alliant Energy-owned property in Cedar Rapids and is part of the company’s Community Solar program.  

Through this program, the company’s electric customers can subscribe to portions – called blocks – of a solar garden the company owns and maintains. The customers receive bill credits based on the garden’s energy generation over the 20-life of the project, thus they benefit from solar power without installing panels on their property.  

Alliant Energy customers purchased all 18,000 solar blocks of the Cedar Rapids garden and will begin to receive bill credits based on energy production next month. The company expects the credits will come to about $30 per block per year. 

“This milestone is a great win for all customers but specifically our subscribers set to receive bill credits for the next 20 years,” said Mayuri Farlinger, VP of customer and community engagement at Alliant Energy. “We’re excited about the reliability solar projects like this bring to the energy grid and customers by further diversifying our generation fleet with low-cost, clean energy as we continue to serve customers and build stronger communities.” 

Cedar Rapids-based businesses Transamerica and Aegon Asset Management purchased 60% of the garden’s solar blocks, First Interstate Bank purchased 15%, and the City of Cedar Rapids subscribed to 5%. 

Alliant Energy donated over $250,000 in solar blocks to Cedar Valley Habitat for Humanity. The company expects Habitat for Humanity’s participating residents will receive over $500,000 in bill credits over the 20-year life of the project.  

Alliant Energy encourages interested Iowa electric customers to join a waitlist for notification if solar blocks become available or the company launches another project in the state. There is no obligation to purchase blocks by joining the waitlist. 

This is the second Alliant Energy community solar garden to become operational. The first, in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, began generating energy in early 2022. The company expects it will soon begin to construct a third project in Janesville, Wisconsin.  
 
The Cedar Rapids Community Solar garden is an important milestone in Alliant Energy’s Clean Energy Blueprint, the company’s roadmap to diversify its energy mix and accelerate its transition to renewable energy. The company’s Clean Energy Vision includes a goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions from its utility operations by 2050. 

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