Solar Energy Farms are Finding a Niche in Northern Iowa

California is going through a record-breaking heat wave and is asking its citizens to cut back on electric usage in order to properly power everyone. Meanwhile, residents there are reportedly suffering through rolling blackouts during the intense heat.

What would happen if that were to take place in Iowa? The state is known for extremes in weather and could suffer through a difficult time during any part of the calendar year. Solar and wind companies are quickly trying to build facilities in the state that would answer the problem. Rob Hoch is CEO of Trusted Energy which specializes in projects like these in Iowa.

There are objections by some that projects like solar would cut down on highly productive farmland. Hoch disagrees with that assessment.

According to Hoch, landowners and farmers can benefit from having solar production done on their property. Farmers would not have to waste time with planting, applicators, and fertilizers where yield would naturally be low.

County taxpayers would benefit too. Tax increment financing (TIF) would eventually be a windfall for the area county governments because of the tax money generated from these companies that own these power generation stations. The situation is a give and take relationship as the county and state initially needs to provide incentives.

Back to the situation on the west coast. There are concerns that the generated energy in northern Iowa does not remain in the state. Hoch has an interesting viewpoint on this issue.

Hoch stated that it really doesn’t matter where the electrons go, much like where our corn or soybeans end up going. As far as space for wind turbines, he feels the space taken up by wind turbines is negligible.  He cites an example of one farmer he is familiar with.

Hoch stated that solar is not limited to farm ground. He has installed them on roofs of buildings, hospitals, and old abandoned ballfields in small towns generating tax revenue for the cities.





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