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

 

Fact Sheet: Energy Efficiency Offers Savings for South Dakotans

While access to electricity is essential for homes and businesses across the U.S., the cost of service can pose a burden to customers. One key strategy to limit this burden is to implement efficiency measures that can cut costs by reducing energy consumption.

File attachments: 

Iowa Legislative update - June 23, 2020

This year’s legislative session in Iowa was unprecedented. Taking place in two separate parts due to the COVID-19 pandemic, state lawmakers adjourned for the final time this year on June 14. The final action of the Legislature was to pass a mostly status quo budget that closely aligned with last year’s spending levels. While it was an unusual year and several bills we supported were shelved, all progress wasn’t lost. 

Wind energy continues to benefit rural America 

In 2019, the U.S. reached a landmark in its wind energy capacity when 100 gigawatts — or enough to provide electricity for about 32 million homes — were produced, according to a report from the American Wind Energy Association. 
 
Reaching that milestone came after the industry experienced significant expansion. Wind energy made up about 30 percent of all new utility-scale generating capacity from 2008 to 2019, making it the top source of renewable electricity in the country.
 

Grappling with COVID-19, Congress can leverage solar energy

Wiping out the last five years of solar job growth, the COVID-19 pandemic has reset total employment in the U.S. solar industry back to 2014 levels.

As recently as 2019, the solar industry employed 250,000 Americans in all 50 states. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, the novel coronavirus has decimated growth in the industry, which will now employ 188,000 Americans through June 2020. This new reality is a 38 percent drop from the 302,000 originally forecasted. Meanwhile, during the second quarter of 2020 (April, May, and June), the country lost out on 3 gigawatts of solar energy deployment, the equivalent of powering 288,000 American homes.