Alternative Energy Law (AEL) (Iowa)

From Open Energy Information

Last modified on February 12, 2015.

Rules Regulations Policies Program

Place Iowa
Name Alternative Energy Law (AEL)
Incentive Type Renewables Portfolio Standard
Applicable Sector Investor-Owned Utility
Eligible Technologies Anaerobic Digestion, Biomass, Hydroelectric, Landfill Gas, Municipal Solid Waste, Photovoltaics, Solar Thermal Electric, Wind
Active Incentive Yes
Implementing Sector State/Territory
Energy Category Renewable Energy Incentive Programs

Credit Trading No

Standard 105 MW of renewable generating capacity

Date added to DSIRE 2000-01-01
Last DSIRE Review 2012-12-03

References DSIRE[1]


Iowa requires its two investor-owned utilities (MidAmerican Energy and Alliant Energy Interstate Power and Light) to own or to contract for a combined total of 105 megawatts (MW) of renewable generating capacity and associated energy production. Eligible resources include solar, wind, waste management, resource recovery, refuse-derived fuel, agricultural crops or residues, woodburning facilities, or small hydropower facilities.

The Iowa Utilities Board has allocated the 105 MW between the two utilities based on each utility's percentage of their combined estimated Iowa retail peak demand in 1990. This breaks down to:

  • MidAmerican Energy: 55.2 MW (52.57% of demand)
  • Alliant Energy Interstate Power and Light (IPL): 49.8 MW (47.43% of demand)

Compliance and Renewable Energy Credits
The IUB issued an order in November 2007 (in Docket No. AEP-07-1) approving specific generating facilities designated by MidAmerican and IPL for satisfying the utilities’ 105-MW requirement. This order cleared the way for the utilities to participate in renewable energy credit (REC) trading programs by differentiating between renewable electricity production capacity used to comply with Iowa law and that which remains uncommitted. For the present, IPL is fulfilling its entire obligation with wind while MidAmerican is fulfilling its obligation with wind and a small amount of biogas capacity.

In 2001, Iowa's governor established a secondary, voluntary goal of 1,000 MW of wind generating capacity by 2010.

Originally, for incentive ratemaking purposes, the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) interpreted the 105 MW specified in the statute as "average capacity" based on kilowatt-hour output. As a result, the IUB's interpretation of the statute mandated the payment of incentive rates for 260 MW of renewable energy -- the nameplate capacity of 105 "average" MW. After the FERC overturned Iowa’s renewable incentive rate program in 1997, the IUB rescinded the "average capacity" rate making concept, which is no longer part of the IUB rules.

Incentive Contact

Contact Name Janet McGurk
Department Iowa Utilities Board
Address 1375 E. Court Avenue
Place Des Moines, Iowa
Zip/Postal Code 50319
Phone (515) 725-7301


Authorities (Please contact the if there are any file problems.)

Authority 1: Iowa Code § 476.41 et seq.
Date Enacted 1983 (amended 1991, 2003)

Authority 2: IAC 199-15.11(1)

Authority 3: Iowa Utilities Board Order, Docket No. AEP-07-1
Date Enacted 2007-11-21

  • Incentive and policy data are reviewed and approved by the N.C. Solar Center's DSIRE project staff.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1  "Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE)"