Energy Center Board approves rules for programs to help advance projects in support of the statewide
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Jacque Matsen, Iowa Economic Development Authority
Energy Center Board approves rules for programs to help advance projects in support of the statewide energy plan
Nov. 7, 2018 (DES MOINES, IOWA) – The Iowa Energy Center (IEC) Board at its quarterly meeting today approved draft administrative rules for two programs designed to inspire innovative research and pilot projects in support of the Iowa Energy Plan objectives. The board also reviewed the status of grant projects transitioned to the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) from Iowa State University (ISU) with the IEC in October 2017.
“Iowa is an energy leader, and to maintain that status, we need to encourage activities in the priority areas identified by the statewide Energy Plan,” said Tim Whipple, IEC Board Chair and General Counsel for the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities. “We’re looking forward to seeing interesting and innovative projects come forward when these programs launch in 2019.”
The IEC board approved draft administrative rules for both the new IEC Grant Program as well as the Alternate Energy Revolving Loan Program (AERLP). The grant program budget will be set annually by the IEC Board for the fiscal year. The rules outline eligible applicants and project activities and minimum and maximum award amounts. Rules for the AERLP describe eligible borrowers and projects (e.g., they must be located in Iowa) and loan terms and administration. The application process and criteria for each program will be set out in their respective policies and procedures manuals.
“With today’s action, we have set ourselves up to begin the application process early next year,” said Whipple. “Which is good timing considering we now have an ‘Energy Plan Progress Report’ and ‘Biomass Conversion Action Plan’ as well as an ‘Energy Storage Action Plan’ on the way to inform the type of projects that will help keep our energy efforts moving forward.”
The “Energy Plan Progress Report” and “Biomass Conversion Action Plan” are available on the IEDA website here. These reports, as well as the forthcoming storage report, are the result of stakeholder group meetings and input – an inclusive and diverse approach established with development of the statewide Energy Plan, released in December 2016. Learn more about the process, working groups and read the full Energy Plan here.
The board also heard a summary of, and mid-term or final reports for, the 23 grant projects initiated when the IEC was housed at ISU. About half of them will end in 2018, with another seven expected to be complete in 2019, two in 2020 and one in 2021. The projects are diverse, spanning from educational material and curriculum development to technical research into battery components, motor operation efficiency and chemicals/compound use and mitigation for example.
IEDA Energy Office Team Leader Brian Selinger provided an update on recent efforts, including an October stakeholder meeting to discuss Iowa’s electric vehicle infrastructure. IEDA released a report, “Advancing Iowa’s Electric Vehicle Market” in 2016. The report also is available online here. Legislation passed during the 2018 session calls on IEDA to work with the Iowa Department of Transportation and utility industry to release a report in 2019 with recommendations for electric vehicle infrastructure support.
The IEC transitioned to IEDA, by legislative mandate, in October 2017 and is overseen by a governor-appointed board of representatives comprised of representatives from academia, state government and the utilities. The list of current IEC Board members is available here. More information about IEDA’s Energy Office is available online.