DECORAH, Iowa (Iowa's News Now) — Alliant Energy’s new battery storage project in Decorah is making room on the grid for rooftop solar and maintains reliable electrical service across the community.
Recently put into service, this project is jointly supported by Alliant Energy, U.S. Department of Energy Office of Electricity, Sandia National Labs and the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA).
Whether it's ethanol, biodiesel, wind, or solar, Iowa is a renewable energy powerhouse and it’s because of innovative companies like Alliant Energy,” said Gov. Reynolds. “This battery storage project in Decorah will create jobs, spur local investment and serve as a model for America’s growing energy sector. Iowa will continue to harness the power of public-private partnership to further Iowa’s reputation as a leader in renewable energy production while also creating a more efficient and resilient electric grid.”
Alliant Energy’s commitment to battery storage is part of its Clean Energy Blueprint to accelerate the transition to renewable energy and enhance the economic and environmental health of the communities it serves.
We see an exciting future for creative energy storage projects that provide cleaner energy for our customers,” said Terry Kouba, president of Alliant Energy’s Iowa energy company. “Our batteries store solar power created when the sun is the brightest and then release that energy later in the day. This is an innovative way to both manage the grid and deliver more renewable energy to customers.
The Decorah battery project’s 2.5-megawatt, 2.9-megawatt-hour battery connects to a circuit in the town with a high concentration of customer-owned solar systems. The battery will absorb much of the excess energy these customers generate at the brightest parts of the day and release it onto the grid when customers need it most. This solution provides low-cost renewable energy at peak times of the day. It also relieves the load on the circuit and avoids the cost for rebuilding the grid to accommodate the excess electricity from the solar panels.
“What is happening here in Decorah will soon become a model throughout the country,” said Dr. Imre Gyuk, Director of Energy Storage Research, DOE Office of Electricity, “As more and more renewable energy comes online, more and more storage will be needed for balance.”
“Battery storage technology strengthens our state’s diverse energy resource mix and makes full use of our renewables even when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing,” said Debi Durham, executive director of the IEDA and Iowa Finance Authority. “IEDA is pleased to support this unique battery storage project, which will serve as a catalyst for other innovative projects in Iowa.”
The Decorah project is jointly supported by a $250,000 cost-share from the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Electricity (DOE-OE) and a $200,000 grant from the IEDA. Sandia National Laboratories provides technical support for the project and will collect operational data. This critical data informs DOE’s national research as part of the DOE-OE Stationary Energy Storage Program under the direction of Dr. Imre Gyuk.
Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA), through its contract with Sandia National Laboratories, plays a coordinating role in project development, reporting and documentation, and Iowa State University’s Electric Power Research Center will use the project to study power quality challenges on circuits with customer-owned generation. The battery sits on land Alliant Energy leases from the City of Decorah.
The company has a smaller battery in a similar application near Wellman, Iowa. Alliant Energy also added a battery to store energy from the company’s 2.55-megawatt AC solar garden in Marshalltown, Iowa.