Iowa Utilities Board sets partial review schedule for Duane Arnold Solar projects

April 7 deadline set for parties seeking to intervene

The Iowa Utilities Board has formally accepted the applications for a pair of utility-scale solar projects near the former Duane Arnold Energy Center near Palo and has set a partial review schedule for the two projects.

The IUB will consider certificates of public convenience, use and necessity for the Duane Arnold Solar I and Duane Arnold Solar II projects and has docketed the applications for further investigation. A partial procedural schedule was set to begin the proceedings in each docket.

The projects will first be reviewed by Linn County officials, including the Board of Supervisors, for approval before facing IUB consideration.

A detail map shows the plans for Duane Arnold Solar 1 (outlined in red) and Duane Arnold Solar II (outlined in purple). CREDIT LINN COUNTY

The action indicates that IUB staff has reviewed both dockets for substantial completion. The IUB issued an order Dec. 10, requesting additional information for each project. NextEra Energy, the project’s developer, and Alliant Energy, which has proposed purchasing the two projects after completion, filed additional information for both projects Jan. 10 and supplemental information Jan. 28.

The partial procedural schedule laid out in the IUB’s order sets deadlines of April 7 for parties seeking intervention and April 14 for responses to any comments, objections or requests to intervene.

Duane Arnold I is a proposed 50-megawatt solar energy project on approximately 316 acres of agricultural land within an 857-acre area project site in Linn County, while Duane Arnold II is a proposed 150-megawatt solar energy project and a 75-megawatt battery energy storage system on approximately 815 acres of largely agricultural land within a 1,780-acre area project site, also in Linn County.

Linn County officials, including the county’s Technical Review Committee and Planning and Zoning Commission, will review the project. The Linn County Board of Supervisors would then need to approve the project in three separate public hearings before the project could proceed. County officials haven’t yet announced a formal timeline for reviewing the project.

A similar project for a utility-scale solar project near Coggon, to be developed by Clenera Energy in partnership with the Central Iowa Power Cooperative, was approved by the board in January after a series of contentious public meetings.