Learn how electric cooperatives serving Iowa member-consumers are integrating new energy sources into their energy portfolios.

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In mid-February, utilities across the Midwest, including several local electric cooperatives in western and north-central Iowa, implemented unprecedented load control measures and temporary power disruptions to reduce electric demand on the grid. 

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Iowa’s locally owned electric cooperatives have been balancing the need for safe, reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible power for decades. As conversations include talk about a clean energy economy, it’s important to set realistic expectations about the timeline.

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Two years ago, Central Iowa Power Cooperative (CIPCO) announced it would purchase 100% of the power from Wapello Solar, currently the largest solar project in Iowa, owned and developed by Clēnera, LLC. Today, the project is well underway and on schedule to produce low-cost energy to CIPCO member-owners in early 2021.

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Corn Belt Power Cooperative’s first solar project is now mostly complete. After a few delays, the remaining panels in the 150-kilowatt array are generating energy at Wisdom Station. The panels take up the space once occupied by the plant’s coal pile.

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Central Iowa Power Cooperative’s new Summit Lake Generation project is quickly progressing and is on track to be operational early in 2021.The $85 million project will repower the natural gas-fired Summit Lake Generating Station in Creston.

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The electric grid has been called the most important engineering achievement of the 20th Century. What if the grid can also transition us to a clean energy economy in the 21st Century? 

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During three educational and fun-filled days on NIPCO's Energy Trail Tours, members are immersed in rural electric cooperative history, the co-op business model, and the Touchstone Energy® brand as well as gaining a deeper understanding and pride about the cooperative difference.

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Iowa has elevated itself on the national stage as a leader in renewable energy. Energy providers and policymakers are continuously looking ahead with the goal to be prepared to serve the ever-changing needs of consumers.

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September is National Preparedness Month, and the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency is encouraging all of us to prepare for emergencies. But most of us do better when we prepare for the routine, the extraordinary and the unexpected. For electric cooperatives in Iowa, preparation plays a huge role in ensuring that our members have the electricity they need as soon as they flip a light switch or start an appliance. 

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