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Iowa

 

An arrow graphic shows that Iowa has 105 MW renewable portfolio standard.

Carve-out: None
Tracking system: Midwest Renewable Energy Tracking System (M-RETS)

Iowa's Alternative Energy Law was adopted in 1983, establishing a capacity-based requirement with no mandated increases.

Although Iowa does not have a future Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), it allows its utilities to sell its renewable energy certificates (RECs) to neighboring states with higher obligations. The Iowa Energy Center administers financing and grant programs for solar photovoltaic (PV) projects. Solar projects are eligible for a 15% tax credit under the Iowa Department of Revenue's Solar Energy Systems Tax Credit program.

Latest Updates

  • In February 2017, Interstate Power and Light, an investor-owned utility (IOU), introduced a cap on the amount of eligible energy for net metering, limiting it to a percentage of the customer's use over the previous year.

Net Metering

Iowa's net metering policy applies to the state's IOUs, Interstate Power and Light Company and MidAmerican Energy Company. Customers with a third-party power purchase agreement (PPA) for on-site renewable energy systems and customers on large general service tariffs (>20,000 kWh/month) are ineligible for net metering.

The Utilities Board has issued an order directing the IOUs to expand their net metering system capacity from 500 kW to 1 MW. In February 2017, the Iowa Utilities Board approved a pilot program, introduced by Interstate Power and Light, in which the amount of eligible energy for net metering will be capped to a percentage of the customer's energy use over the previous year. This pilot program became effective in May 2017 and is applicable for the next three years for Interstate Power and Light Company customers.

System size limit: 1 MW (excluding Interstate Power and Light pilots)

Aggregate cap: Not specified

Credit: Net excess generation is credited at the retail rate

RECs: Not addressed

Meter aggregation: Not addressed

Interconnection

Iowa's interconnection standards apply to rate-regulated utilities (MidAmerican Energy, IPL, and Linn County Rural Electric Cooperative, which elected to have its rates set by the Iowa Utilities Board [IUB]). Interconnection requests for distributed generation facilities up to 10 MW are reviewed under a tiered classification system. Classifications are based on system capacity, lab-certification of system components, and whether the system is connected to a radial distribution circuit or an area network.

Eligible Systems Type of Interconnection
Lab-certified, inverter-based systems < 10 kW Tier 1 Interconnection
Lab-certified systems with a capacity <2 MW Tier 2 Interconnection
Lab-certified, inverter-based systems < 50 kW, non-exporting systems connected to a radial distribution circuit < 10 MW Tier 3 Interconnection
Other systems < 10 MW Tier 4 Interconnection

System size limit: 10 MW

Liability insurance: Required for systems ≥1 MW (general liability insurance policy with a limit of at least $2 million per occurrence and $4 million in aggregate); utility must be insured as additional party

External disconnect switch: Required for systems < 100 kW; others at utility's discretion. Legislation passed in 2015 also mandated the IUB to implement a rule that systems placed in service on or after July 1, 2015 install a disconnection device adjacent to an interconnection customer's electric meter.

Third Party Ownership

Third-party solar PPAs are allowed in Iowa.

Community Solar

There are currently no statewide community solar policies or programs in Iowa. Utilities or third-party developers offer community solar programs.

State Incentive Programs

Program Administrator Incentive
Alternative Energy Revolving Loan Program Iowa Energy Center Solar PV projects are eligible for no-interest financing for up to 50% of the financed project cost (capped at $1,000,000). The Iowa Energy Center also offers several matching grants for project development that may be used for solar PV projects.
Iowa Utilities Board Department of Economic and Community Affairs As an alternative to the Solar Energy Systems Tax Credit, system owners may elect to claim $0.015/kWh for 10 years. This program is temporarily closed to new capacityt.
Solar Energy Systems Tax Credit Department of Revenue The tax credit for solar energy systems placed in service after January 1, 2016 is 50% of federal tax credits, capped at $5,000 for individuals and $20,000 for businesses. Iowa's Solar Energy Systems Tax Credit is worth 15% of a solar PV system installation (based on federal tax credits set at 30% of installation costs for both individuals and businesses.

Utility Incentive Programs

Program Incentive Limitations
Farmers Electric Cooperative

$0.125/kWh and a $1,000 rebate

solar PV incentives

< 50 kW

< 50 kW

Resources

The list below provides some resources for each type of policy or program. Please reference and contact relevant authorities and local utilities for the most up-to-date and accurate information on state and utility policies and incentive programs.

Net metering and interconnection

Programs and Incentives

Others