Alliant to ditch Iowa nuclear energy for wind power
Wind farm in Iowa. Author: Carl Wycoff. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic
Alliant Energy Corp (NYSE:LNT) has entered into an agreement with NextEra Energy Resources LLC that will lead to the retirement of Iowa’s only nuclear power plant in 2020 and the purchase of more wind power.
More specifically, Alliant’s Iowa energy company has agreed with NextEra Energy Resources to shorten by five years the term of the power purchase agreement (PPA) tied to the Duane Arnold Energy Center (DAEC). In exchange, in September 2020 the Alliant unit will make a USD-110-million (EUR 94.3m) buyout payment to NextEra Energy Resources.
Thus, the offtake contract for the output of the nuclear power plant will end in 2020 instead of in 2025. The closing of the facility will be followed by a multi-year decommissioning process, during which a gradual reduction in staffing at the DAEC will take place.
The two parties have also agreed for NextEra Energy Resources to repower four wind farms in Iowa with a combined capacity of 340 MW and sell the electricity generated by those plant to Alliant Energy. Overall, NextEra Energy Resources intends to invest some USD 650 million in existing and new renewable energy facilities across Iowa by the end of 2020, including USD 250 million for the repowering projects. The company is also considering redevelopment opportunities at the DAEC site that include the installation of new solar power, battery storage or natural gas facilities.
Alliant Energy expects that its customers in Iowa would save almost USD 300 million in energy costs over 21 years because of the above-mentioned transactions.