The site of the project is in Linn County, next to the Duane Arnold Nuclear Power Plant that was shut down a year ago and is being decommissioned. Transmission lines at the facility near Palo would be used for what’s being called the Duane Arnold Solar Project. The solar panels would generate an estimated 200 megawatts of power, enough to provide electricity to more than 160-thousand homes. The plan also calls for 75 megawatts of battery storage, to provide power when the sun isn’t shining.
Another array of solar panels would be installed later and, according to Alliant, it then would be the state’s largest solar power project.
Alliant Energy executives say the project aligns with the company’s goal of transitioning to more renewable forms of energy and ensures the company has a diverse mix of energy sources to meet consumer demand.
Alliant Energy is seeking regulatory approval from the Iowa Utilities Board for the project. NextEra Energy also has submitted paperwork to the board seeking approval for the location near Palo. It’s about eight miles from Cedar Rapids. The Duane Arnold Energy Center sits on a 500-acre plot of land. The plant was named for Duane Arnold, the CEO of Iowa Electric Power and Light who oversaw construction of the nuclear plant.