Linn County is going to quickly become one of the faces of solar energy creation in Iowa. A second solar farm has been announced for the Cedar Rapids area, and this one should go online before the first one that was revealed last month.

In a media release, the Central Iowa Power Cooperative (CIPCO) and Clēnera Renewable Energy have revealed a Power Purchase Agreement for a new solar farm about two miles from Coggon. Coggon is along Highway 13, north of the Cedar Rapids metropolitan area.

Clēnera Marking and Communications Coordinator Lauren Sigler shared with me that groundbreaking for the project is expected to happen sometime in 2022. She says the solar farm will sit on approximately 750 acres of private land and "will have the capacity to generate enough clean energy (100 megawatts) to power approximately 18,000 homes."

CIPCO, whose website says they serve "nearly 320,000 Iowans in 58 counties, serving more than 13,000 commercial and industrial accounts," will be the recipient of that clean energy from Clēnera. Kerry Koonce, the Manager of External Affairs for Central Iowa Power Cooperative, tells me,

CIPCO is buying 100% of the power from the new Coggon Solar project, but Clēnera is the owner and builder.

CIPCO generates and provides power to 13 member-owned rural electric cooperatives and associations in the state of Iowa, including Linn County Rural Electric Cooperative (REC), East-Central Iowa REC, Eastern Iowa Light & Power Cooperative, Maquoketa Valley Electric Cooperative, and T.I.P. Rural Electric Cooperative.

According to the media release, the solar farm will create around 350 construction jobs at its peak, and will also provide millions of dollars in property taxes to Linn County. Despite construction not beginning until next year, Clēnera expects it to actually begin providing energy sometime in 2022.

This is the second solar farm partnership announced between CIPCO and Clēnera. The first project, an 800-acre one in Louisa County in southeast Iowa, also creates about 100-megawatts. KCCI says that Louisa County solar farm started producing energy, purchased by CIPCO, in March.

Just last month, it was announced that the area around the Duane Arnold Energy Center outside Palo will be home to an approximate 3,500-acre solar farm. That massive solar farm, which will be owned by NextEra of Florida, is expected to produce 690 megawatts of solar energy. Construction on the Palo solar farm is expected to begin late this winter, with it beginning to create energy sometime in 2023.

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