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Solar energy threatened in state known for eco-friendly fuel

ANKENY, Iowa (AP) — MidAmerican Energy proudly notes its status as a national leader in wind power.

That’s why some find it jarring to learn the Des Moines-based company is pushing for new rules that could put a screeching halt to another alternative energy in Iowa — the currently booming market for solar power.

Like private utilities in Indiana, Nevada and Kansas and elsewhere, MidAmerican said the fees it’s backing in the Iowa Legislature are a matter of fairness to avoid charging other customers for costs incurred by solar generators when they resell excess power.

Those in the solar industry don’t buy it. They say a utility with annual profits topping $600 million actually wants to control an emerging energy source.

The state Senate has approved the bill. It’s awaiting action in the House.


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