Alliant Energy is doing more to bring renewable energy to homes in eastern Iowa by opening two new solar gardens in Dubuque.
One is located in downtown Dubuque on 12 St.
Called the “Port of Dubuque Solar Garden,” this plant can generate 1.2 megawatts of electricity. That’s equivalent to powering about 120 homes for an entire year.
The second plant is the West Dubuque Solar Garden, which is the largest in the state. That generates about five megawatts of electricity.
This solar garden is on an old manufacturing site for AY McDonald.
Terry Kouba, vice president of Alliant Iowa Operations, says both solar gardens won’t impact your bill just yet.
He said, “these facilities will not have a significant impact on customer cost at the current time. Down the road when they’re more efficient, they’re lower cost and we’ve installed more of them, then we’ll start seeing that have a positive impact on customer cost.”
Kouba says this is their first step towards diversifying their energy resources, as well as harvesting a clean energy future for customers.
Officials also note they get questions from customers about solar panel performance during the winter. They say some solar panels come with a ledge on the bottom, which would not allow snow to fall off very easily. They were sure to get panels without that ledge so snow can slide off.
They will also monitor the panels.
Kouba says they aren’t done with construction at the Port of Dubuque Solar Garden. They’re still adding a bike path and an information kiosk which would explain solar power to the public.
They hope to have an open house next spring.