Iowa recently received $1.03 million in federal funding for the Iowa Statewide Readiness Initiative which will help promote solar development and the adoption of rooftop solar systems across the state. The 36-month grant, made possible by the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA), U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and in-part by the Iowa Energy Center under the new Matching Grant Program, will make it easier for homeowners and businesses to adopt rooftop solar systems. The IEDA and DOE are partnering with the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities and the Iowa Environmental Council to launch the Initiative.
The solar readiness group will work with local governments in Floyd County, Linn County, cities of Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, and Dubuque to lower the “soft” costs of solar installations, such as permit, zoning, and connection fees, which can account for up to 60 percent of the installation, according to the DOE. Their goal is to lower costs to make solar installations more accessible in their area.
Paritosh Kasotia, energy team leader for the Iowa Economic Development Authority, said interest in solar energy in Iowa is increasing, especially among farmers. Despite the increase in interest, however, according Energy Program Director for the Iowa Environmental Council Nathaniel Baer, Iowa still needs to promote solar energy: “I think Iowa is still behind the leading states in the country, but hopefully this project can help move the state forward.”
“As a leader in wind energy and renewable fuels, Iowa should be at the front of the pack in implementing programs that encourage the use of solar energy as well,” said Governor Terry Branstad.
Source: Iowa receives $1 million to make rooftop solar accessible, Des Moines Register