Iowa solar industry jeopardized by federal petition

by | Jun 10, 2020 | 5 Ag Stories, News

We do not always get the chance to talk about solar energy. It is one of those things that is in a broad scope that affects not only the rural parts of Iowa but also the urban areas as well. However, the Iowa Solar Energy Trade Association is asking Iowans across the board to make their comments heard to save the industry from proposed Federal overreach. The deadline for these comments is fast approaching on June 15th.

Recently, a petition was filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) by the New England Ratepayers Association (NERA) asking for a change in the practice of paying for energy that solar owners send back to the grid. Troy Van Beek is the founder of Ideal Energy in Fairfield, Iowa, and he talks about what the petition is asking.

Van Beek says if the petition would be passed, it would essentially destroy the solar industry in Iowa. If solar panel owners can?t sell energy back to the grid, it renders solar economically unfeasible. That, in turn, would mean the nearly 1,000 jobs in the state?s solar energy industry would just go away.

Van Beek says they have forged a great partnership with pork producers in the state, as well as other farmers who are using solar energy on their operations. He says it is a partnership that has been strong. It would also destroy Iowa Senate File 583 which goes into effect on July 1st, which regulates a fair price for solar energy.

Iowans are encouraged to visit and make comments to help the industry. The deadline for comments to be submitted on Monday, June 15th.