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Windsor Heights joins the growing 24/7 carbon-free energy movement with an ambitious 2030 target

Originally posted on 10/18/22 in 100% Iowa's Newsroom

On Monday, October 17, 2022, the Windsor Heights City Council voted unanimously to adopt a resolution to reach community-wide carbon-free electricity by the year 2030. Windsor Heights joins Des Moines and Waterloo as the third city in Iowa to commit to 24/7 carbon-free electricity — the first city in Iowa to do so with a target of 2030 — and the fifth nationwide.

With a 24/7 carbon-free electricity goal, Windsor Heights seeks for the entire community to be powered by emission-free clean energy sources like wind and solar around-the-clock, rather than relying on the current generation sources that includes coal-fired power plants.

The proposal was introduced by Mayor Mike Jones during the city council meeting on October 17. In addition to setting this 24/7 carbon-free electricity goal, the resolution also includes other local clean energy and climate solutions such as transitioning the City’s fleet to electric vehicles, installing electric vehicle charging stations at the city facilities, and encouraging energy efficiency to reduce energy usage and waste.

“This resolution shows that cities of all sizes want a genuine 100% clean energy commitment, where a community can run on renewables around-the-clock, without coal and fossil fuels in the mix,” said Sonita van der Leeuw, an organizer with the Iowa Environmental Council. “We commend the Mayor, City Council, and local advocates who helped make Windsor Heights the latest Iowa community working toward 24/7 carbon-free electricity.”

Iowa Energy News 

Iowa school districts awarded funding for electric school buses

The Environmental Protection Agency recently announced school district recipients of the first round of federal funding of its Clean School Bus Program totaling $965 million — nearly double the amount originally available due to overwhelming demand. In the current year, the agency said it has received about 2,000 applications requesting nearly $4 billion for more than 12,000 buses, mostly electric.

In Iowa, 12 school districts will receive funding for 28 electric school buses. The 5-year, $5 billion program was created as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021. An additional $1 billion is expected to be available in the budget year.

Transition to clean energy grid critical, requires commitment, advocates say

Last month, IEC and partners hosted John Norris, Former Commissioner of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and former Iowa Utilities Board chairman, and transmission and energy industry expert Michael Goggin for a discussion centered on grid reliability and integrating renewables.

“Why is there so much resistance to this? We’re talking about shifting from a generation system dependent upon fossil fuels and just fuel in general to a system that there is no fuel cost,” Norris said. “What’s holding back this lower-cost energy is a grid system that today cannot accommodate near the potential we have.” Read more highlights from the webinar here.

Iowa clean energy jobs still recovering after COVID-19 pandemic

Nearly half of Iowa's clean energy jobs lost during the COVID-19 pandemic were regained during 2021, according to a new report.

Iowa lost 9.7% of its clean energy workforce in 2020, dropping to around 28,900 jobs. By the end of 2021, more than 30,300 clean energy jobs were recorded in the state — a 5% increase from the year before.

The energy efficiency sector led in total clean energy jobs, followed by the renewable energy and advanced transportation sectors. Jobs dealing with clean transportation — mainly, electric and hybrid vehicles — represented the fastest-growing sector with a 25% increase.


Farewell, Elizabeth!

Elizabeth Wagner joined the 100% Iowa team back in October of 2021 as a clean energy field organizer based in Iowa City. Elizabeth graduated this Spring from The University of Iowa with a degree in Environmental Policy and Planning and is now headed off to her next chapter of employment with Table to Table in Iowa City as their new Operations Coordinator. The IEC staff and board wish Elizabeth the best of luck in her new role. Thank you, Elizabeth!

Featured Video

Watch Now: The Clean Energy Future is Here: How Renewable Energy is Building the Reliable Grid of the Future

Watch a recording of a webinar hosted by IEC and partners on how wind and solar energy have been successfully integrated into Iowa’s electric grid, and how more clean energy can be integrated for a secure and reliable grid of the future. The webinar also looked at how renewable energy performed during peak demand this summer, and how additional clean energy capacity will best serve ratepayers in the future.

IEC Events

IEC's inaugural Green Gala & Art Auction, will take place next Thursday, November 10 at Mainframe Studios in Des Moines. We're auctioning off 25 unique environmentally-inspired pieces from artists around Iowa and across the country with auction funds supporting IEC’s work. You can start bidding on the art now! Bidding will be open through midnight on November 10, and art will be available to see in person at the event. We'll also have live music and energy-focused awards. Help spread the word and make plans to attend today!


ADAPT DSM Community Open House & Survey

The City of Des Moines is in the process of developing a community-wide climate action and adaptation plan — ADAPT DSM — and needs your input. Des Moines Residents are invited to attend a Community Open House on Wednesday, November 16 from 4-6 p.m. at the Central Library. No RSVP is needed.

You can also share your feedback and help prioritize potential solutions for the plan's seven areas of focus by completing community survey #2.  


Upcoming Energy Events

11/2 -11/4: 2022 Equity Summit, Midwest Building Decarbonization Collation

11/3: Getting Down to Business: Electric School Bus Business Models, RWI's Electric School Bus Initiative

11/8 - 11/9: 2022 Iowa Energy Summit, Iowa Association for Energy Efficiency

11/8: Emerging Professionals Workshop, Iowa Association for Energy Efficiency

11/9: IEC's Green Gala & Art Auction

11/16: Adapt DSM Community Open House, City of Des Moines

Have an upcoming event we don't have listed here? Send it to us at iecmail@iaenvironment.org

505 Fifth Ave. Suite 850 
Des Moines, Iowa 50309-2317

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