Clean Energy

Clean energy offers a significant opportunity to diversify the rural economy while generating cheap, renewable power for rural homes and businesses.

Wind, solar, and other renewable energy projects help revitalize rural communities by taking advantage of their rich energy resources. New tax revenue from these projects help shore up local infrastructure, like schools and emergency services, while reducing the local tax burden on rural people. Meanwhile, farmers and landowners receive land-lease payments from project developers in an unpredictable farm economy. In addition, new jobs are created by the increased demand for local manufacturing and project operators.

To maximize the impact of clean energy development, a critical need arises for new and upgraded transmission capacity to carry renewable energy generated across wide geographic areas to consumers. Investing in transmission infrastructure creates new access to clean energy and allows rural economies in the Midwest and Great Plains to unlock their clean energy potential.

We aim to assist landowners and other rural stakeholders to ensure that clean energy transmission is built in an equitable, sustainable way—a way that works best for rural citizens and their communities.

Click here to view our wind energy story map, and watch the video below to see how the small town of Petersburg, Nebraska, realized its clean energy potential. Check out our clean energy transmission database, which provides project details on proposed or newly developed transmission projects in the Midwest and Great Plains.
 


 

Clean Energy Notes

 

Nebraskans have opportunity in untapped solar potential

The growth of the solar industry has brought a wave of new projects. As prices decline, developments are becoming larger and bringing with them new economic opportunity. Nebraska has substantial potential to reap the benefits of solar expansion at the residential, community, or utility scale. 

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Solar provides farmers with opportunity

Battling a tough farm economy and increasingly unpredictable weather, farmers are often looking for ways to reduce costs on their operations.

One strategy is leveraging the affordability of solar panels on farms, an idea that has been picking up steam in many rural areas.

Five social distancing activities that support rural Iowa

As each of us continues to adapt to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it has become abundantly clear—taking care of our community is a crucial component of our way of life in rural Iowa. I continue to hear stories of neighbors helping neighbors and families pitching in to lend a helping hand. This unprecedented situation has created real economic hardships for many rural Iowans, leaving many of us searching for ways to help out.

Iowa’s solar compromise serves as national model

After a lengthy fight during the 2019 Iowa legislative session, a unique coalition of agriculture and environmental groups joined forces with MidAmerican Energy, the state’s largest investor-owned utility, to negotiate a consensus agreement to expand solar energy in Iowa.