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Alliant Energy named a Top Utility in Economic Development

Site Selection Magazine 2021 Top Utilities logo

For third consecutive year Site Selection magazine recognizes the company’s contributions to business development and job creation

MADISON, Wis. – September 2, 2021 – For the third year in a row, Alliant Energy was named on Site Selection magazine’s Top Utility in Economic Development list. The annual list recognizes the company for its contributions to community development and job creation.

In its September issue, Site Selection credits Alliant Energy’s economic development team, in collaboration with local, regional and state partners in Iowa and Wisconsin, for delivering more than $906 million in new capital investment and more than 2,200 new jobs in 2020.

Alliant Energy is one of 20 companies nationally named to the list and the only one in Iowa. In all, there are 3,300 utility companies, including 900 electric cooperatives, in the United States.

“Alliant Energy is extremely proud to once again be honored as a top utility in economic development and we are honored to be among such strong industry peers,” said John Larsen, chair, president and CEO of Alliant Energy. “Guided by our purpose of serving customers and building stronger communities, our partnerships with the 1,300-plus communities we serve in Iowa and Wisconsin helped bring more than 30 new industrial and warehouse projects to life in the last year. Today, we share this award with them.”

Site Selection noticed Alliant Energy’s innovations in the absence of travel and on-site meetings. The company added interactive maps to its Alliant Energy economic development web page to allow site location consultants and real estate executives to tour Alliant Energy’s industrial sites virtually. The platform showcases certified sites across Iowa and Wisconsin and provides data on community assets, labor force, population, transportation routes, site costs and utility capacity including electricity, natural gas, water, wastewater and broadband.

“Working with Alliant Energy on developing interactive maps to showcase the Lincolnway Industrial Rail and Air Park in Clinton, Iowa has been essential to maintain close relationships with our region’s utility partners during the challenges of a global pandemic,” said Andy Sokolo

Site Selector also recognized Alliant Energy’s transition to renewable energy. Business customers have environmental demands and sustainability goals and seek to partner with companies like Alliant Energy, whose Clean Energy Blueprint guides its work to sustain the economic and environmental health of the communities it serves. Current Alliant Energy business customers like 3M, PepsiCo, Kerry Group, Mars, General Mills and many others have committed to moving their operations to 100% renewable electricity. Alliant Energy has embraced new technologies to help them achieve their goals and continues to adapt and become more resilient and reliable.vich, vice president of economic development with Clinton Regional Development Corporation. “Alliant Energy continues to support our economic development efforts as contributing members of a thriving community.”

Site Selection delivers expansion planning information to 45,000 site location consultants and executives of fast-growing firms and is considered the senior publication in the development field. The magazine bases its award ranking on a utility’s efforts to cultivate industrial business development, job creation and the populations it serves.

Logistics Park Dubuque addresses today’s supply chain needs

Logistics Park Dubuque

Today’s supply chain challenges have pressed industrial companies to find alternative methods of transportation. 

Travero, the logistics solutions subsidiary of Alliant Energy, thrives in freight logistics with services including third-party logistics management, commodity storage and transportation via rail, truck and barge. Travero’s Logistics Park Dubuque (LPD) is a barge terminal in East Dubuque. It serves many customers in the agricultural space who need storage and transportation for feed and fertilizer ingredients. 

Recent supply chain challenges revealed an opportunity to step into a new space and partner with a Dubuque-based steel processor. 

The processor had struggled to obtain the on-highway capacity needed to keep their manufacturing operation running. Travero enabled them to use rail-to-truck transloading and outdoor storage to source steel beams from South Carolina. This allowed LPD’s new partner to keep materials close by, manage the ebbs and flows of production and material availability, and overcome the challenges they’d experienced during the last year. 

“Creating optionality for shippers and facilitating easy, seamless transactions via technology is paramount given current supply chain challenges,” said Jeff Woods, director of business development and marketing at Travero, Inc. “That is what the Travero team does every day.” 

The East Dubuque site has 100 acres of property including a 20-acre protected harbor. The site offers 250,000 square feet of inside storage, as well as room to develop facilities to handle specific needs. LPD is located on U.S. Highway 20 at mile 574.5 on the upper Mississippi River. Rail access to Chicago and Omaha via the Canadian National Railway are also available at this location. 

Visit travero.com/LPD for additional information, or contact Joe Bitter, General Manager, at (815) 747-3161. 

Large industrial warehouse and production space ready for new opportunities

inside of warehouse

Are you seeking an industrial production and warehouse site in the Midwest? This cost effective and clean warehouse, production, assembly or manufacturing property is new on the market in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It offers 20,000 to 96,000 square feet of high or medium bay space for sale or lease. The building sits on a 34-acre lot, located just one half mile north of U.S. Highway 30, and within one mile of Interstate 380. It is served by rail. 

Building details include 44,000 square feet of air-conditioned space, 11 docks, four overhead doors and 130 automobile parking spaces. Other amenities include compressed air, a 2,000kilowatt generator, and 12,400highvoltage service with available 3,200amp panel. It has a shared break room, a conference room and a locker room with restroomsThere are currently three acresmore or lessof paved outdoor storage and additional trailer parking on site with room to expand to more or less than 10 acres. The building could be expanded up to an additional 150,000 square feetIt is available for possession within 30 days. Flexible lease terms are available. The sale price is $6,250,000. 

For additional information about the property, contact Mary Meisterling, Manager Business Support and Development Account Management at 319-558-7122 or marymeisterling@alliantenergy.com. 

Battery project to become a model throughout the country

Decorah Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Decorah Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

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. 

Alliant Energy announces progress toward Clean Energy Vision in 2021 Corporate Responsibility Report

couple planting tree

At Alliant Energy, we recently released our 2021 Corporate Responsibility Report highlighting advancements in renewable energy and progress on our clean energy vision. The report focuses on our environmental, social and governance programs and the continued emphasis on the communities we serve. 

When it comes to progress, successful execution of our strategy has yielded the following achievements:  

  • Carbon dioxide reduced 42% since 2005.  
  • 1,100 megawatts of coal retired with plans to retire another 1,300 MW by the end of 2024.  
  • 10% of light-duty fleet vehicles are electric.  
  • Water use reduced 66% since 2005.  

We take great pride in advancing a more sustainable future through our purpose-driven strategy to serve customers and build stronger communitiesWe were also pleased to announce our plan to add more than 1 million trees to our service areas over the next decade in honor of our customers.

To achieve this goal, Alliant Energy will partner with organizations and communities throughout Iowa and Wisconsin in support of public forest restoration and preservation, urban forestry projects and other tree planting efforts.

The new tree planting initiative is in addition to plans to expand solar energy generation and build out the connected energy network while focusing on building a stronger, more diverse energy grid. 

Collectively, these initiatives position Alliant Energy to achieve our sustainability goals, which include eliminating all coal from our generation fleet by 2040 and achieving net-zero carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generated by 2050. These goals are part of Alliant Energy’s Clean Energy Blueprint, our roadmap to a cleaner, more reliable and resilient energy generation future.

Iowa’s governor names John Larsen to Carbon Sequestration Task Force

John Larsen, Alliant Energy

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds named Alliant Energy Chair, President and CEO John Larsen to a new task force to explore carbon sequestration and the opportunities it presents for economic development. The Carbon Sequestration Task Force will leverage Iowa’s look to capitalize on nationwide demand for a more carbon-free economy. 

According to U.S. Geological Survey, carbon sequestration is the process of capturing and storing atmospheric carbon dioxide. It is one way to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere; the ultimate goal is to reduce global climate change. 

“Iowa is a recognized leader in renewable fuel and food production, and this is another opportunity to lead and be innovative, invest in Iowa agriculture, and facilitate new sources of revenue for our agriculture and energy sectors,” Gov. Reynolds said in a statement. “I am proud to bring together an impressive team of stakeholders that will help formulate smart, commonsense policy recommendations on this issue ahead of the 2022 legislative session.” 

Joining Larsen on the task force are other key stakeholders representing industries and interests integral to the carbon sequestration supply chain in Iowa. According to Secretary of Agriculture and task force Vice Chair Mike Naig, the group will work together to identify strategies to expand current conservation efforts, create revenue streams, improve financial sustainability and grow Iowa’s economy. 

“I’m honored to work with this group of respected, forward-thinking industry leaders to explore carbon sequestration opportunities for the state of Iowa,” said Larsen. “I look forward to participating in solutions that expand and enhance economic and environmental health of the communities we represent.” 

As part of the Carbon Sequestration Task Force, Larsen will have the opportunity to bring Alliant Energy’s expertise and energy vision to the forefront. As we create innovative solutions to complex problems, advance clean energy, strengthen our communities and build a smarter, stronger power grid, our dedication will be integral to the task force’s carbon sequestration efforts. 

Manufacturing and Agriculture Tax Credit reduces corporate income tax rate to 0.4%

woman sorting apples

woman sorting applesThe state of Wisconsin has a long, successful history in manufacturing and agriculture. From sausage and cheese to motorcycles and military equipment, the industries are the foundation of Wisconsin’s economy. According to the Wisconsin Center for Manufacturing & Productivity website, more than 25% of the state’s labor force was in manufacturing last year and the industry was responsible for $12.8 billion in exports. And, according to the Department of Agriculture and the Trade and Consumer Protection website, the agriculture industry made up 12% of the state’s labor force last year and saw $3.37 billion in exports. 

A talented workforce, a robust technical college system and over 14.3 million acres of farmland are factors in the success of these industries. Wisconsin’s favorable tax environment is also helpful.  

Wisconsin’s manufacturing and agriculture tax credit is a statutory tax credit available to claimants that derive qualified production activities income from property located in Wisconsin that is assessed as either manufacturing or agricultural. According to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation website, “the tax credit amounts to 7.5% of ‘eligible qualified production activities income,’ resulting in an effective corporate tax rate of 0.4% as of 2016.” The tax credit is in perpetuity and has no maximum dollar limit.  

When combined with the state’s property tax exemption on production machinery and the sales and use tax exemption on products used in the manufacturing process, including repair parts, it is no wonder that Wisconsin continues to be a national leader in the agriculture and manufacturing industries.  

Learn more 

Contact colemanpeiffer@alliantenergy.com or visit Wisconsin Department of Revenue 

Manufacturers grow in Iowa and Wisconsin

General Mills sign

Rockline Industries to add new jobs in Sheboygan, Wisconsin

Rockline Industries based in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, announced a $19.7 million expansion along with the creation of 54 new jobs over the next three years. The family-owned company is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of coffee filters and consumer, health care, industrial and institutional wet wipes. Rockline plans to double its household disinfecting wipes manufacturing capacity in Sheboygan.

Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation is supporting Rockline’s expansion with up to $380,000 in state income tax credits over the next three years. The expansion will allow Rockline to double its production of disinfecting wet wipes.

“We are very fortunate to have an amazing company like Rockline in Sheboygan County,” said Brian Doudna, executive director, Sheboygan Economic Development Corporation. “They continue to invest in our community and its people. This expansion was supported by both the WEDC and the Department of Workforce Development’s Wisconsin fast forward program to support the creation of jobs, capital investment and training on new equipment that will increase wages and skills of the labor force.”

General Mills signGeneral Mills expands with investment in Cedar Rapids facility

Minneapolis-based food manufacturer General Mills announced a $57 million expansion of their manufacturing operation in Cedar Rapids. The expansion will add 60 new jobs. The plant currently employs 615 people. The project will improve existing production flows while investing in new and more efficient equipment, modifications to existing walls to house conveyors, piping ductwork, electrical upgrades, and roof penetrations for structural support.

The Iowa Economic Development Authority approved various tax credits for the expansion in Cedar Rapids. General Mills has until 2023 to hire the 60 new workers with average wages between $23.49 and $29.62 per hour.

Retired coal plants’ infrastructure present opportunities

Edgewater Generating Station

Edgewater Generating StationAlliant Energy announced we will close our two remaining coal plants in Wisconsinthe Edgewater Generating Station in Sheboygan, WI, and the Columbia Energy Center near Portage, WI. We will retire the Edgewater Generating Station by the end of 2022 and the Columbia Energy Center by the end of 2024.  

Working closely with community leaders, our team seeks to transform these retired coal-burning facilities into valuable community assets. In 2020, we partnered with Beloit College to transform a retired coal-burning facility into The Powerhouse, a new gateway to downtown Beloit along the city’s riverfront.   

Robust infrastructure creates prime locations for industry  

Once remediated, these two sites present exciting redevelopment opportunities. They each have heavy electrical infrastructure in place, and offer easy access to freshwaterlevel three fiber and two key markets: Madison and Milwaukee.  

Retired coal plant properties can easily be adapted into data centers without saddling the new tenant with upfront costs or reduced efficiencies. Larger bays with efficient floor plates and weight capacity to support high-density server racks allow for scalability, efficiency and flexibility. Critical factors include ample and reliable power along with cooling capacity. They are designed to withstand severe weather conditionsPhysical security measures such as perimeterfencing with surveillance cameras are already installed on-site. 

The physical layout of these facilities can also be easily repurposed for indoor vertical farming: Bays with high ceilings can accommodate vertically stacked layers, artificial lights and rotating beds to maximize crop output. Situated at the epicenter of eight large regional/national grocery retailers’ perishable distribution centers offers the best hope for scaling of profitability.  

Property details 

1. Edgewater Generating Station – Sheboygan, Wisconsin 

The Edgewater Generating Station is a 265-acre site that currently generates 380 MW of energy in Sheboygan. Sheboygan is located roughly 50 miles north of Milwaukee and 64 miles south of Green Bay. The plant sits on the shores of Lake Michigan and is just minutes from Interstate 43. Approximately 48,000 people live in Sheboygan, with more than 115,000 people within the greater metropolitan area 

2. Columbia Energy Center – Columbia, Wisconsin 

The Columbia Energy Center is a 3,000-acre site that currently generates over 1,100 MW of energy in Columbia County. The facility is just outside of Portage, which is 35 miles north of Madison. The plant is located on the Wisconsin River, just minutes from Interstates 90/94 and Interstate 39. Portage is the closest city to the plant. An estimated 10,400 people live in Portage. The city is part of the greater Madison metropolitan area, with a population of roughly 665,000 people. 

Advancing our clean energy future 

Decommissioning our remaining Wisconsin coal plants – and adding new solar facilities – are a part of Alliant Energy’s Clean Energy Blueprint. We will add another 414 megawatts (MW) of solar in Wisconsin. The six projects we recently submitted to the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) for approval move us closer to our goal to generate 1,000MW of solar electricity by the end of 2023.  

As we move forward with our sustainable energy plan, Alliant Energy has set a clean energy vision that aspires to reach net-zero carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 2050. We plan to eliminate coal from our generation fleet by 2040.  

Manufacturing 4.0: A strategic plan for a critical industry sector

manufacturing equipment

manufacturing equipmentThe Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) recently issued a much-anticipated Manufacturing 4.0 plan, which states that Iowa manufacturers must pursue advanced manufacturing products and processes that incorporate cutting-edge, innovative technologies. 

This report stresses that to remain competitive in the global economy, Iowa manufacturers must implement industry 4.0 principles and practices. These include internet-connected devices, additive manufacturing, advanced robotics, augmented reality and cybersecurity. Digital technologies may not replace jobs, but they will transform how work is performed – how products are designed, fabricated, used and serviced. 

Iowa’s ability to compete globally, according to the report, will depend on how successfully manufacturers transition to new operating modelsSmall-to-medium sized manufacturers will face mounting pressure from the larger manufacturers they supply. 

This plan outlines five strategic priorities: 

  1. Adopting and Utilizing Manufacturing 4.0 Technology 
  2. Enabling Infrastructure of Digital Technologies 
  3. Improving Supply Chain Linkages 
  4. Accelerating Manufacturing Startups and Scale-ups 
  5. Ensuring an Effectively Trained Workforce 

 Each section suggests specific actionto achieve success. The plan concludes with a Call-to-Action to leaders from both the public and private sectors to rally together in a coordinated and focused vision. 

Alliant Energy and Iowa State University’s Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS) created theDigital Manufacturing Lab Powered by Alliant Energy to help businesses evaluate problems and find opportunities using manufacturing 4.0 technology. The lab brings students and faculty from a variety of backgrounds to help companies solve problems and stimulate innovative ideas. CIRAS can help industry test new technology such as cobots, 3-D scanning and other technology and train staff how to use it. Iowa manufacturers are encouraged to tap into this valuable resource. To learn more, visit alliantenergy.com/digitallab