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IEC provides testimony on Soo Green Transmission Line

The Iowa Utilities Board heard testimony on July 11 about a novel approach to transmission lines in Iowa: Soo Green is proposing an underground direct-current line running from near Mason City to Illinois. Steve Guyer, IEC’s Energy Policy Council, provided pre-filed written testimony supporting the transmission line; Steve Guyer and Michael Schmidt, IEC Staff Attorney, participated in the hearing in Elkader, Iowa.  

As Steve testified, the line offers significant potential benefits for Iowans and could expand renewable energy development in the state. The ability to export and import power to another region of the electric grid can improve reliability when demand is high, and also sell wind-powered generation to other states.  

The line provides these benefits while relying on existing right-of-way and avoiding many challenges of overhead transmission line development, including environmental and land use impacts. By following the railroad and highway, the line avoids sensitive areas and requires less clearing of land to allow maintenance. 

The line would follow the Canadian Pacific railroad for most of its route and a short stretch of U.S. Highway 18. In the hearing, representatives from Soo Green noted that other countries have used direct current transmission lines (as opposed to alternating current lines) for decades. Iowa does not have any high voltage direct current lines today, but the new approach could be a model for transmission development. 

Iowa Energy News 

MidAmerican Energy's Wind PRIME Project Goes to Re-Hearing

In 2022, MidAmerican proposed its largest wind expansion yet to the Iowa Utilities Board, known as Wind PRIME. In February, the Board approved the project, but included terms that would limit customer risk and reduce MidAmerican’s profits.

In response, MidAmerican asked the IUB to reevaluate its order and the Board has agreed.

MidAmerican will file additional testimony attempting to justify a different outcome; IEC and other parties will respond and a second hearing is scheduled for October 10. 

Iowa EV registrations up nearly 30%, but charging stations lag

Iowa experienced a near 30% increase in electric vehicles (EV) in 2022. Despite this surge, the state's charging infrastructure lags, with only 16% more charging stations than a year ago.

This shortage in charging infrastructure may deter prospective EV buyers and impact the overall adoption of clean transportation in the state.

Learn more about policy decisions impacting Iowa's EV charging infrastructure, and how businesses, state agencies, and utilities are gearing up to respond to growing demand. 

Iowans share ideas to inspire climate dialogue with art

The Art of Climate Dialogue: Stories from Iowa, produced by EcoTheatre Lab, is a podcast series featuring conversations with artists, farmers, community organizers, activists and more who have used arts and storytelling strategies to talk about climate change and agriculture in Iowa.

Through this podcast, interviewees share their strategies so that listeners can implement them in their own communities.

Visit the website for more information about the project's funders, the interviewees, and all of the collaborators!

IEC Staff Announcements

Cody Smith, Senior Policy Associate

We're pleased to announce that Cody Smith has joined IEC as a senior policy associate! Cody is a climate policy professional with substantive experience in the energy, agriculture, and water sectors. Growing up on a farm in the rural Midwest, Cody brings an authentic perspective to the pursuit of a 100 percent clean energy future for Iowa. Please join us in welcoming Cody to IEC!


Jordan Oster, Associate Energy Program Director

Long-time staffer Jordan Oster has been promoted to Energy Program Associate Director from his previous role of Energy Outreach Manager. Since he joined the team in 2019, he's been an invaluable organizer, advocacy champion, and strategic thinker delivering real impact for IEC. Congratulations Jordan!

Featured Video

Watch Now: Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) Explainer

Nearly one year ago, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) was signed into law. The IRA is the largest climate investment in U.S. History, supporting $370 billion in programs that benefit households, businesses, and communities. Implementation of IRA programs put the country on the path of reducing emissions 40% by 2030. Learn more about funding opportunities for Iowans in this short explainer video, or by visiting the Iowa Energy and Infrastructure Funding Hub.

Upcoming IEC Events

More than 30 organizations from across the state will participate in Iowa Gives Green on August 2, a special day of giving to support environmental causes around Iowa.   

IEC has secured a generous $5,000 match for donations given to IEC during Iowa Gives Green from a long-time supporter and we need your support to help us reach this goal! Give today, give tomorrow, or donate Wednesday, August 2, to make your gift. 

Join IEC and Blank Park Zoo to celebrate the 3rd Annual Iowa Gives Green - with an IEC Members Night at Zoo Brew!

The animals will be out until 30 minutes before sunset, and bars will be set up throughout the park. This event features live music by Dirty Champagne, local brews, and a reduced ticket price of only $14 for 21+ IEC members and guests. 

We'll be on site for all the fun, sto stop by and say hello.   

Registration is open for IEC's second annual Green Gala & Art Auction on Thursday, September 14, where we'll celebrate Iowa's clean energy leadership through art, music, and inspiring awards.   

Now is your chance to nominate a colleague, friend, family member, or someone you know for a Green Gala Award to honor their efforts to advance Iowa's clean energy future. Nominations are due by Friday, August 4

Upcoming Energy Events

8/1: Say No to Coal Dinner and Teach In, Buffalo Rebellion

8/3: Climate Justice 101, MBDC 

8/3: Soo Line Lunch & Learn, CCED 

8/15: A One Year Reflection: The IRA's Impacts on Latino/a/e Comunidades, Green Latinos 

8/22: Virtual Solar Power Hour, Grow Solar Polk County 

Have an relevant event we don't have listed here? Submit an event for our Event Calendar.

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Des Moines, Iowa 50309-2317

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