May 29, 2024

Alliant begins work on solar field near high school

Alliant Energy begins construction of a solar power generating project on Creston High School grounds, west of the football field grandstand.

Crews have begun construction on the Panther Solar Field, a 1.4-megawatt solar project partnership between Alliant Energy and the Creston Community School District.

The solar project falls under the Alliant Energy Customer-Hosted Renewables program. The company expects it will be operational in early 2025 and provide lease payments to the district for at least 20 years.

“It has been a pleasure to partner with Alliant Energy to develop a solar garden on district property,” said Creston Community Schools Superintendent Deron Stender. “The solar garden reflects the joint effort to support renewable energy, and provide educational opportunities and valuable resources for children, staff, Creston Schools and the community.”

The Panther Solar Field will help Alliant Energy understand the benefits of placing projects on the local distribution system.

The school can use the approximately 2,500 solar panels as an educational opportunity for students of all ages.

“This is an exciting time for both Creston Schools and Alliant Energy as the project provides learning opportunities for students and staff about reliable, clean energy,” said David Vollmar, senior key account manager for Alliant Energy. “We appreciate the partnership from the school district as it showcases its commitment to sustainability.”

The Panther Solar Field is part of Alliant Energy’s Clean Energy Blueprint, the company’s strategy to diversify its energy mix and transition to renewable energy. The company’s Clean Energy Vision includes a goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions from its utility operations by 2050.

What is happening at the high school is not the only Alliant solar power project in Creston.

Alliant Energy is also building a solar power field on 300 acres east of the Howard and Osage street intersection. Not every acre will be used for solar power generation. Approximately 76 acres are planned to be used for the related infrastructure. The facility is on privately owned land where landowners voluntarily participated for the construction.

A completion date has not been determined.

Alliant expects the generated power to be used in Union County especially during the summer months when electrical usage is typically greater.