July 18, 2024

Alliant’s solar field continues construction

Construction crews pose with the last solar panel before it's installed at the Creston site. The solar power project is on schedule to be completed later this year.

Alliant Energy’s solar power project on Creston’s east side has reached a milestone.

Company officials said this week the last solar panel has been installed on the 50-megawatt (MW) project. More is to be done. Company officials said the wiring will connect and flow the generated power.

“It already looks like it’s complete, but now it’s just behind the scenes work,” said Alliant spokesperson Chris Caporale.

The Creston Solar Project will connect to the electrical transmission grid directly through the local substation. Once complete, the project will generate renewable energy into power for approximately 11,000 homes annually. Caporale said the goal is to be finished later this year, provided there are no disruptions during completion. When it will be operational has not yet been determined.

Power generated will be offered to Union County but Caperole said the electricity will be put into the Alliant grid and used where needed.

Alliant Energy's solar power field east of Creston along Osage Street is expected to be finished later this year.

According to Allaint, native grass and seed mixes will be planted around the solar panels that will help build soil nutrients and create pollinator-friendly habitat. Alliant claims pollinator-friendly vegetation prevents soil erosion and add benefit to high-value crops. The grass will mature in four years following construction.

The Creston project represents a long-term reduction of traditional fossil fuels for energy generation, contributing to a cleaner environment and clean energy future for Iowa and the Midwest.

According to Alliant, the Creston Solar Project is expected to generate more than $1.2 million in school district revenue, more than $270,000 in total county property taxes and approximately $1.9 million in total property taxes over the life of the project. Construction of the project created 80 construction jobs and about 250 construction jobs in Iowa. Replacement tax revenue, a state program determined by the generation output of the project, will provide annual payments to Union County.

John Van Nostrand

JOHN VAN NOSTRAND

An Iowa native, John's newspaper career has mostly been in small-town weeklies from the Rocky Mountains to the Mississippi River. He first stint in Creston was from 2002 to 2005.