Iowa energy regulators have approved two renewable energy projects planned by energy developer NextEra Energy Resources, one of which will also deploy a 300MWh battery storage system.
The Iowa Public Utilities Commission (IUB) said it will issue Public Convenience, Use and Necessity certificates for both NextEra projects once approved by the Lynn County Board of Supervisors.
The two projects are the 50MW Duane Arnold Solar solar power generation facility and the Duane Arnold Solar II solar + energy storage project, which will deploy a 150MW solar power generation facility and a 75MW/300MWh battery storage system.
The projects are adjacent to the Duane Arnold nuclear power plant in Palo Township, Lynn County, which NextEra has a majority stake in but closed in August 2020. This enables the company to use the plant's existing grid infrastructure, which falls within the service area of grid operator Midwest Independent System Operator (MISO).
As previously reported by industry media, NextEra has struck a deal to sell the projects to utility Alliant Energy in 2024, once operational.
According to order documents from the Iowa Public Utilities Commission (IUB), the battery storage system for the Duane Arnold Solar II solar-plus-storage project will be constructed from 96 containerized battery storage units, and over time, 48 battery energy storage units can be added in the future. Battery energy storage systems can smooth and transfer and store electricity from solar power facilities.
In addition, Alliant Energy has come online operating a standalone 5MW battery storage system in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, adjacent to its DeerRun substation. This more than tripled the installed capacity of Alliant Energy's battery storage systems operating in the state from 3.5MW to 8.5MW. The company also has energy storage operations in Wisconsin.
“While Alliant Energy has been operating battery storage systems for several years, battery technology has advanced by leaps and bounds, enabling new energy storage projects to deliver greater efficiency, performance and Affordability."
In addition, the company plans to study the performance and design characteristics of battery energy storage systems and how to integrate with the grid.