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New Legislation Benefits Municipal Utility Solar Projects

Posted By IAMU, Wednesday, June 24, 2015

 

The end of the Iowa 86th General Assembly saw a flurry of activity, including the passage of HF 645 that makes municipal utilities eligible for renewable energy tax credits.  Governor Branstad will be signing the bill into law Friday in a formal signing ceremony that IAMU staff will be attending.

IAMU worked with many stakeholders throughout the session on passage of this legislation.  Municipal utilities could use these tax credits to reduce the cost of energy produced by a solar photovoltaic (PV) array owned or contracted for by the utility.  Many municipal utilities are considering building community solar arrays or utility scale solar, and this tax credit could provide benefits. 

Background

Iowa Code chapter 476C has provided transferable tax credits for renewable energy production to eligible entities since July 1, 2005.  The tax credit is available for electricity generated from renewable sources, as well as several non-electricity renewable energy sources.  For renewable electricity production, the tax credit is 1.5 cents per kWh generator for ten years.  Until now, municipal utilities were not eligible to receive the tax credit.  Investor owned utilities and rural electric cooperatives are also eligible for the tax credit.

HF 645 also adds 10 MW of generating capacity that is eligible for the tax credit, and reserves this for solar PV systems that are owned or contracted for by utilities.  The solar arrays can each be up to 1.5 MW in nameplate capacity.  Because the tax credits are transferable, municipal utilities can utilize the tax credit to make a project more attractive.

An expected use of the tax credits is to assist in the development of utility-led community solar projects.  In a municipal utility community solar array, the utility sponsors the construction of a central solar array, and customers subscribe to receive energy from the array.  Community solar allows any customer to invest in solar, achieve economies of scale compared to multiple small arrays, and allows the system to be optimized for capacity and energy production.

Apply Soon

There is significant interest in community solar projects across the state, and it is expected that the 10 MW of capacity reserved for utility solar projects will be used up quickly.  Municipal utilities developing a solar project are urged to submit an eligibility certification application to the IUB as soon as possible.    For information about the application process, please see the IUB’s website: https://iub.iowa.gov/renewable-energy-tax-credits.  For information on how the tax credit may apply to a project your utility is considering, please contact Joel Logan at IAMU at jlogan@iamu.org or 515.289.1999.

Tags:  Energy Efficiency  HF 645  Legislative  Solar 

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OSHA 30-Hour Construction Outreach Training is July 20-24

Posted By IAMU, Wednesday, June 24, 2015

 

IAMU is hosting an OSHA 30-hour construction outreach training course on July 20-24 at the IAMU Office and Training Complex in Ankeny.  The 30-Hour course establishes a foundation for the utility /company safety program.  It will help locate and apply OSHA safety & health standards, policies, and procedures; utilize OSHA standards & regulations to implement an on-going safety & health program; identify common violations of OSHA standards and propose abatement actions; describe appropriate abatement procedures for selected safety hazards and conduct internal training on OSHA regulations.  Hands-on activities will be included.  Iowa OSHA’s Administrator, Jens Nissen, will be one of the guest speakers and will be available to answer questions.

Do you have contractors working for you?   Many cities require their contractors to maintain a safety program to be eligible to work for them; the OSHA 30-hour course will help those owners and managers develop a solid safety foundation at their company to hopefully avoid incidents while working for the city or utility.  Hiring a contractor to perform work for the city/utility does not eliminate all liabilities to the city.  The contactor’s incident could drag you into litigation.  This is why contractors you hire should have good or even great safety programs.  

Who should attend?

This advanced course is recommended for supervisors and managers.  If you previously attended a 10-Hour OSHA Construction Outreach course you may be particularly interested in attending because of the depth & application of the subject matter.

Registration is available by mail, fax or you may register here.  Deadline to register is July 16, 2015.  Workshop subject to cancellation if minimum attendance not met.  IAMU Cancellation Policy in effect.  Any questions?  Call (800) 810-4268 or (515) 289-1999.

Tags:  30-Hour  Ankeny  IAMU  JT&S  OSHA  Safety 

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Registration Open for Grant Workshop

Posted By IAMU, Wednesday, June 24, 2015
IAMU is holding a workshop on funding opportunities for infrastructure and energy efficiency improvements on August 3 at the IAMU Office and Training Complex in Ankeny.  CLICK HERE for the complete agenda and registration information.
A wide range of funding and financing opportunities is available to Iowa communities to support improvements in vital infrastructure.  This workshop will provide attendees an overview of these opportunities and information on how to qualify for the funding.  There will also be time for attendees to discuss their project ideas with representatives from the organizations administering the funding.  The agenda includes:

  • The Iowa Economic Development Authority will provide information on the Community Development Block Grants.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture will discuss the array of funding opportunities available for rural communities and utilities for infrastructure and energy projects.
  • A representative from the State Revolving Fund will discuss opportunities for financing drinking water and wastewater infrastructure.
  • Chris Ball, the Energy Efficiency Director for the City of Bloomfield and Bloomfield Main Street board member, will share how Bloomfield has leveraged a range of funding sources to implement innovative projects to benefit the community.

Tags:  Ankeny  Grant Workshop  IAMU 

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Intern Provides Support for Energy Services

Posted By IAMU, Wednesday, June 24, 2015

 

There's a new face at IAMU this summer.  Jeb Kopera, a junior at Iowa State University, is assisting with a number of projects during his three-month internship in the energy services department.  

Jeb's primary focus has been assisting members with the filing of their biennial IUB energy efficiency reports, a task that takes a great deal of time and attention to detail.  Jeb has also been working on a general education presentation on the electric industry.

Jeb returns to Iowa State this fall to complete is undergraduate degree in industrial engineering, after which he hopes to launch a career in operations research or ergonomics and human factors.

Thanks Jeb for helping out this summer!

Tags:  Energy Services  Intern  Jeb Kopera 

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Common Ground Iowa General Membership Meeting

Posted By IAMU, Wednesday, June 24, 2015

 

There are millions of miles of buried utilities beneath the surface that are vital to everyday living like water, electricity and natural gas.  Protecting underground utility lines and the safety of people who dig near them is a shared responsibility.  So what can we do to minimize the risk to workers and the general public?  Get involved with Common Ground Iowa.

You are invited to attend the Common Ground Iowa General Membership Meeting from 10:00 a.m.. - 1:00 p.m.. (lunch provided) on July 23rd, 2015, at Milford City Hall, 806 N Ave, Milford, Iowa.  Hear representatives from Black Hills, Iowa Lakes REC, Spencer Municipal, Milford Municipal, Alliant Energy, and Mediacom discuss the importance of calling 811 and how you can protect yourself, your business, and customers.  Share information and perspectives during discussions regarding damage prevention issues.  Plan to attend and be part of Iowa's growing effort to reduce damages to all underground facilities!  RSVP and ensure your place today!

http://www.commongroundiowa.com/event/common-ground-iowa-general-membership-meeting

Tags:  CGI  Common Ground Iowa 

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