Environmental Group Touts Iowa's Solar Capability

The solar field at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, should be up and running sometime this month. The solar energy will be enough to power Baker Village and some near by homes. Photo taken on Wednesday, August 15, 2012. (Nikole Hanna/The Gazette-KCRG)

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By Rachel Begle

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A new report by an environmental group says Iowa ranks 16th in the nation for the amount of solar power it could reasonably produce. The Iowa Environmental Council says just as wind energy grew rapidly in Iowa, so can solar.

The report, funded largely by the Iowa Energy Center at Iowa State University, says Iowa's solar electric potential outranks states like Georgia, Utah and South Carolina. The group says solar projects are being installed at farms, businesses, universities, and even homes.

The report cites examples of successful solar installations including a 280 kilowatt array at Luther College in Decorah, the largest. Another is the 150 kilowatt array on a distribution center near Peosta, which cuts carbon emissions and energy costs for Colony Brands Inc.

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