Solar energy system proposed for Dubuque

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — An energy company has proposed plans to install a solar energy system in Dubuque. The Telegraph Herald (http://bit.ly/1sGEUJA) reports that Alliant Energy plans to install solar panels at two sites covering 32 acres. It would be the utility's largest solar energy system. But...

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — An energy company has proposed plans to install a solar energy system in Dubuque.

The Telegraph Herald (http://bit.ly/1sGEUJA) reports that Alliant Energy plans to install solar panels at two sites covering 32 acres. It would be the utility's largest solar energy system. But the Dubuque City Council would have to approve an annexation of land, rezoning applications and a lease before the project can officially begin.

The company's senior manager of business development Zachary Hill said construction is likely to begin in the spring and should be completed by late summer. According to Hill, a majority of the panels will be installed just west of the city's industrial parks.

Officials said the solar arrays will be capable of producing 4 megawatts of energy in ideal conditions, and could power 560 homes.

Hill said that Dubuque was a logical choice for the system because it offered enough land to make the system cost-effective.

Central Iowa Power Cooperative and its member cooperatives announced in March a plan to add 5.5 megawatts of solar energy across six locations in its area of service.

Rick Dickinson, president and CEO of the Greater Dubuque Development Corp., said the current largest solar system in an Iowa city produces 1.5 megawatts.

According to Hill, the solar arrays will require a multimillion dollar investment, but a precise cost for the installation has not been determined. Alliant Energy estimates that the installation could generate 40 to 50 construction jobs.

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Information from: Telegraph Herald, http://www.thonline.com

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