Alliant Energy’s new battery storage project in Decorah, Iowa, makes room on the grid for rooftop solar and maintains reliable electrical service across the community. Recently in service, this innovative project is jointly supported by Alliant Energy, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Electricity, Sandia National Labs and the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA).
“Whether it’s ethanol, biodiesel, wind or solar, Iowa is a renewable energy powerhouse and it’s because of innovative companies like Alliant Energy,” said Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds. “This battery storage project in Decorah will create jobs, spur local investment and serve as a model for America’s growing energy sector.”
Alliant Energy’s commitment to battery storage is part of its Clean Energy Blueprint to accelerate the transition to renewable energy and enhance the economic and environmental health of the communities it serves.
“We see an exciting future for creative energy storage projects that provide cleaner energy for our customers,” said Terry Kouba, president of Alliant Energy’s Iowa energy company. “Our batteries store solar power created when the sun is the brightest and then release that energy later in the day. This is an innovative way to both manage the grid and deliver more renewable energy to customers.”
The Decorah battery project connects to a circuit in the town with a high concentration of customer-owned solar systems and provides low-cost renewable energy at peak times of the day. It also relieves the load on the circuit and avoids the cost of rebuilding the grid to accommodate the excess electricity from the solar panels.
“What is happening here in Decorah will soon become a model throughout the country,” said Dr. Imre Gyuk, director of energy storage research for the DOE Office of Electricity. “As more and more renewable energy comes online, more and more storage will be needed for balance.”
The company has a smaller battery in a similar application near Wellman, Iowa. Alliant Energy also added a battery to store energy from the company’s 2.55-megawatt AC solar garden in Marshalltown, Iowa.