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Solar Energy in Iowa: Policies and Practices at the Municipal, County, and State Levels

Oct 11, 2022

09:30 AM - 02:00 PM

Boyd Law Building, 225

130 Byington Road, Iowa City, IA 52246

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Join policy experts, researchers, industry members, public employees, and nonprofit organization representatives for a series of panel discussions focusing on solar policies and practices across the state of Iowa. Each panel will focus on solar topics at different levels — from municipal level issues (net metering), to county level (utility scale, land use, siting), and finally at the state level (storage, equity, transmission). Each session will consist of an introduction and speaker remarks from panelists. Following the panelists' presentations, a moderated Q&A session will take place, allowing the audience to engage with the panel experts.

We will be providing a light breakfast, beverages, and lunch for attendees. The event is free and open to everyone—students at all levels, staff, faculty, and the public. We request that those interested in attending please RSVP at the registration here: https://uiowa.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_2lU6iMrnn17eLu6

Panel Session 1: Solar at the Local Level: How Can Iowa Support Customer-Owned and Community Solar?

10–11 a.m. Moderator (to be confirmed): Stratis Giannakouros - Director, UI Office of Sustainability and Member, City of Iowa City Climate Action Commission

  • Sarah Gardner -  Climate Action Coordinator, City of Iowa City 
  • Kari Gehrke, Manager - Demand Side Management, Alliant Energy
  • Travis Kraus – Director, Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities and Associate Professor, UI School of Planning and Public Affairs 
  • Tyler Olson – City Council Member, City of Cedar Rapids and President, SiteGen Solar 
  • Patrick Snell - Climate and External Affairs Associate, The Nature Conservancy 

Panel Session 2: Land Use Considerations: Is Utility-Scale Solar Compatible with Current Land Uses?

11:15 a.m.–12:15 p.m. Moderator: Shannon Roesler, UI College of Law

  • Nick Boeyink - Executive Director, Iowa Conservative Energy Forum
  • Mark Crowl - Manager, Renewable Development, Invenergy 
  • Andy Johnson – Executive Director, Clean Energy Districts of Iowa
  • Charlie Nichols  - Director of Planning and Development, Linn County
  • Becky Soglin - Sustainability Coordinator, Johnson County

Panel Session 3: Statewide Solar: What Is Planned for a Reliable and Equitable Solar + Storage + Transmission Grid?

12:40–1:40 p.m. (lunch provided)  Moderator: Steve Guyer, Iowa Environmental Council

  • Jennifer Easler - Consumer Advocate and Attorney, Office of Consumer Advocate
  • Steve Guyer - Energy Policy Manager, Iowa Environmental Council
  • Josh Mandelbaum - Senior Attorney, Environmental Law and Policy Center and Des Moines City Councilmember
  • James McCalley - Anson Marston Distinguished Professor, London Chaired Professor of Power Systems Engineering, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Iowa State University
  • Bob Rafferty, Executive Director, Iowa Business for Clean Energy

This event will be offered in a hybrid format.

This event is sponsored by the Hubbell Environmental Law Initiative (HELI). With questions about this event, please contact HELI Program Director Blake Rupe at blake-rupe@uiowa.edu.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa–sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact in advance at