DES MOINES, Iowa – Clean energy stakeholders celebrated Iowa’s status as a national leader in renewable energy and discussed how to continue growing the industry during an event hosted by Power-Up Iowa marking Clean Power Week on Tuesday.
Event participants included Governor Kim Reynolds; U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst; U.S. Reps. Ashley Hinson (IA-1); Cindy Axne (IA-3); and Randy Feenstra (IA-4); Dusky Terry, President at ITC Midwest; Bill Anderson, Executive Director at Cherokee Area Economic Development Authority; Mike Fehr, Vice President of Renewable Generation and Compliance at MidAmerican Energy; Dave Wisniewski, Vice President of Utility and Environmental Commercialization at Vermeer Corporation; Troy McQuillen, Vice President of Facilities at Kirkwood Community College; and Tom Wind of Wind Utility Consulting PC.
Reynolds, who signed a proclamation declaring American Clean Power Week in Iowa, shared her thoughts about clean power during the event. “Iowa runs on affordable, reliable clean energy. Iowa communities have attracted new businesses, billions in investment, millions in tax revenue, and provided stable income sources for our farmers — all because of clean energy,” she said.
Event attendees also heard from Grassley, known as the ‘father of wind’ for his leadership in paving the way for clean energy development in Iowa.
“I’m proud to say that we get more than half of our electricity from clean power. I’m a supporter of all alternative energy for the good of the environment, and of course, for energy independence,” he stated.
Clean power sources supply 59 percent of Iowa’s energy. Iowa also has the third-highest amount of operational wind, solar, and energy storage capacity in the nation. Clean power supports more than 5,000 jobs in the state and has brought extraordinary economic benefits to the state — for example, by providing a consistent source of income for Iowa’s farmers.
Discussing the state of renewables in Iowa, Feenstra stated: “As we celebrate American Clean Power Week, now is a perfect opportunity to renew our commitment to being the frontrunner of the transition to clean energy.”
During the event, participants discussed some of the infrastructure challenges inhibiting clean power growth across Iowa.
Axne spoke about potential legislation to solve some of these challenges and create jobs:
“As we work to build America’s clean energy future, I am proud to support the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act in order to move us forward on those goals,” she stated. “This bipartisan bill will support the transition to clean energy, create more opportunities for our skilled and trained workforce, and also benefit our environment.”
Speaking about Iowa’s leadership in sustainability, Hinson said: “Iowa will continue leading the way with innovative, clean energy solutions.”