Iowa is a Midwestern state that is located between the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. Known for its rolling plains and farmlands, Iowa has an incredible solar generating potential as well. On average, the state receives up to 5 peak sun hours per day. The southwestern part of Iowa receives sunlight more abundantly than the rest of the state, hence the greatest solar potential is found in the southwest corner of the state. 

In rural areas like Washington County, most photovoltaic systems are installed at farms and rural businesses whereas, in urban areas like Cedar Falls, multiple successful community solar projects have been installed. Currently, West Dubuque Solar Farm has a generation capacity of 3.4 MW. It is the state’s largest solar generating facility. 

Currently, the cost per watt price for solar panel installation in Iowa varies from $2.71 to $3.67. A few years ago the installation cost was $6 per watt, hence there has been a significant decrease in the overall cost of installing solar systems.  

Iowa is yet to tap its complete solar generation potential. According to estimates, 74% of buildings in Iowa are viable for the installation of solar systems. The potential for electricity generation is 8.8 MWh AC per year and it will lead to 4.5 million metric tons of Carbon dioxide savings. 

Solar-Friendly Incentives in Iowa

The following solar-friendly incentives and tax exemptions have been introduced in Iowa:

Renewable Energy Property Tax Exemption

All new solar systems installed will not be considered while calculating the property tax for the property where the system is installed. This exemption is for the first five years of installation of the system. 

Iowa Sales Tax Exemption

In Iowa, most components of the solar system are exempted from sales tax. This leads to a cost savings of up to 6% on all initial purchase costs of the solar equipment. 

The Federal Solar Tax Credit

According to the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), when filing for income tax, you can get a rebate of up to 26% for the cost of the solar system installed at your property. However, keep in mind that this tax applies to those PV systems that have been brought with a cash purchase or through a solar loan. 

According to estimates, 97 out of 99 counties in Iowa have benefited from the upfront solar tax credit, introduced by the state of Iowa. 

The following statistics give us a glimpse of the state of solar in Iowa:

  • Solar Installed (MW): 440.4
  • National Ranking: 30th (22nd in 2020)
  • Percentage of State’s Electricity from Solar: 0.67%
  • Solar Jobs: 773
  • Solar Companies in State: 66 (11 Manufacturers, 30 Installers/Developers, 25 Others)
  • Total Solar Investment in State: 592 million
  • Prices have fallen 11% over the last 5 years
  • Growth Projection and Ranking: 980 MW over the next 5 years (ranks 31st)
  • Number Of Installations: 7,392

Need For Solar Panel Disposal Solution

The true potential of solar power in Iowa is far greater than the current status. Ambitious targets and solar-friendly legislation have put Iowa on a path of achieving energy sufficiency through the use of solar energy.  

However, the rapid proliferation of photovoltaic technology also raises the alarming question about the decommissioning and disposal of end-of-life solar panels. Most experts agree that recycling old solar panels is the most cost-effective and eco-friendly waste disposal option for solar waste. 

If you are looking for decommissioning or large-scale solar panel recycling solutions in Iowa, contact We Recycle Solar. We provide recycling solutions for solar panels, batteries, and other equipment. Our processes are safe, efficient, and compliant with all federal and state laws.

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Unless otherwise noted, all data from SEIA/GTM Research U.S. Solar Market Insight