Iowa public power utility Muscatine Power and Water (MPW) has entered into a purchase power agreement (PPA) with Nokomis Energy for the Muscatine Solar 1 project, MPW’s first utility-scale renewable project in Muscatine.
For the project to move forward, MPW needed to secure key commitments and partnerships from local customers. Grain Processing Corporation, HNI Corporation, and Bayer U.S.–Crop Science have each signed on as anchor tenants, with a long-term commitment for a share of the output of the new solar project.
The addition of solar energy to MPW’s portfolio aligns with its strategic plan to responsibly invest in renewable energy.
Construction on the 24-megawatt solar installation at MPW’s Grandview Avenue Wellfield is anticipated to begin in the fourth quarter of 2024, with an operational target of Q4 2025.
Muscatine Solar 1 also supports MPW’s sustainability goal of reducing carbon emissions by 65% by 2030 while balancing the need for reliable and affordable service of which all its customers rely on, the utility said.
Since 2017, about 5.5% of MPW’s customer electric energy needs were met from MPW’s wind portfolio. Muscatine Solar 1 would more than double the amount of renewable energy in MPW’s portfolio, with the amount of renewable energy equivalent to an estimated 11-12% of MPW’s annual customer energy needs once the project goes into service.
MPW noted that its “Choose Green” business program will be rolled out in the coming weeks to all large commercial and industrial customers, giving each of them the opportunity to be a partner in the solar project.
For all other customers, they can sign up at any time to MPW’s existing Choose Green program and opt to have a share of their energy usage come from MPW’s renewable portfolio.