Jackson County Energy District Awarded Clean Energy Project by IISC

The Iowa Initiative for Sustainability Communities (IISC) has awarded the Jackson County Energy District an exciting project that will present research options, offer recommendations, and create a clean energy plan for Jackson County. The project will be conducted by a multidisciplinary team of faculty and graduate students from the University of Iowa’s School of Planning and Public Affairs during the 2021-22 school year.

JC Energy District has worked with the IISC team to define specific goals and deliverables for the Clean Energy Plan:

  • Analysis of financial and environmental implications of implementing renewable energy sources (e.g., solar, wind, batteries) for generation of power at Jackson County facilities.
  • Models to show alternatives for a small town in Jackson County (and, by extension, small towns across Iowa) to own and operate a micro-grid utility consisting entirely of renewable energy production (e.g., solar, wind) and battery storage devices.
  • A GIS map of existing renewable energy installations (e.g., solar, wind, geothermal) in Jackson County.
  • Educational materials for the public that emphasize successful local, clean energy installations (including scope of ownership and diversity of applications) along with financial and environmental impacts of locally owned renewable energy.
  • An information packet for legislators regarding the positive impacts of clean, locally owned energy initiatives.

The Clean Energy Action Plan will include key elements needed for decision-making and implementation of specific projects, such as: financing and ownership alternatives, cost-benefit analyses, budget impacts (i.e., cost, return on investment), and resource/operations requirements. The final document will make specific recommendations to help Jackson County communities take meaningful steps toward a clean energy future.

Meeting of the IISC with the Jackson County Board of Supervisors to discuss their project.

During a recent visit to Jackson County, the IISC team was oriented to the County’s energy footprint, met key stakeholders, and further defined project goals. As part of the team’s visit, they attended a JC Energy District board meeting, participated in a working session of the Board of Supervisors, engaged members of the City Council of the town of Springbrook, and toured county facilities and landmarks.