Energy Choices for Iowa
Solar Opportunities for Iowa
News Release — Tim Dwight Leads Solar Energy Tour for Iowans
March 25, 2011
News release including itinerary (2-page PDF)

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa — Former Iowa and NFL star Tim Dwight joined local solar industry leaders and advocates today for a four-city tour to show how Iowans already are capitalizing on solar power.

“Iowa has been an awesome leader in green technology — specifically the wind and biofuel sectors,” said Dwight, whose company, Integrated Power, develops solar or photo-voltaic (PV) projects. “The state is now prime for PV.

“The citizens of Iowa need to understand this opportunity and what it means — job creation, economic development, and every Iowan being an energy producer.”

Dwight teamed up with three organizations, the Iowa Policy Project, the Iowa Environmental Council and the Environmental Law and Policy Center, for Friday's solar bus tour. The group started on the University of Northern Iowa campus in Cedar Falls and holding a news conference at the Cedar Falls Community Recreation Center, the first of four media stops. The tour was scheduled for stops as well in Hiawatha, Cedar Rapids and Iowa City.

“Iowa used innovative public policy to encourage renewable energy in this state, and look how the industry has responded. Iowa is now the nation's second-leading producer of wind power, and solar energy has great potential as well,” said David Osterberg, executive director of the Iowa Policy Project. “We are always eager to see, and promote, good uses of renewable energy that can inspire others in Iowa to seek a sustainable energy future, with safe and cost-effective technology.”

Speakers at news conferences included solar project installers, renewable energy advocates and Liz Christiansen, University of Iowa director of sustainability.

A recent report from four organizations — IPP, IEC, ELPC and the California-based Vote Solar Initiative — shows Iowa could create thousands of new jobs and economic benefits by developing solar power with state policies that encourage solar development.

The report noted that solar markets are flourishing where good policy has made solar energy accessible and offered reasonable incentives to drive private investment in solar technology.

“People need to educate themselves on our daily processes and their consequences,” Dwight said.

March 25 — Solar Bus Tour Itinerary

8:30 Gather at Center for Energy and Environmental Education (CEEE), UNI Campus, Cedar Falls for coffee (SE corner of Jennings Drive and Campus Street)

9:00 Depart on bus for tour

9:05 Drive by UNI parking facility to view extensive solar array en route to Cedar Falls Community Recreation Center (110 E 13th St, Cedar Falls)
— News conference at Rec Center to discuss solar opportunities and view extensive solar thermal system. Speakers will include Tim Dwight, Dave Krejchi (owner of Dalton Plumbing, installer of solar thermal system), and possibly others

9:45 Brief stop at Tech Works campus in Waterloo (bus will drive by solar/efficient residential site(s) en route to Tech Works)

(Bus will return to CEEE prior to continuing on to Cedar Rapids)

Drive to Cedar Rapids

11:30 Stop at Prairiewoods Franciscan Retreat Center (120 E Boyson Rd, Hiawatha)

12:00 — Media opportunity at Prairiewoods to discuss solar opportunities and view solar panels.
Speakers will include Tim Dwight, Steve Fugate (I-RENEW) and possibly others.

12:30 Drive by (and possible brief stops) at other solar sites and businesses in Cedar Rapids area.
These include Oak Ridge Middle School and RJ Construction in Marion, and the Kouba building in New Bohemia.

1:15 Stop at IBEW training center (2300 Johnson Ave, Cedar Rapids)
— Media opportunity to discuss solar opportunities and view solar panels.
Speakers will include Tim Dwight, Mike Carson (IBEW), Stan Pfoff (Pfoff Electric) and possibly others

(Bus will return to Prairiewoods prior to continuing on to Iowa City)

Drive to Iowa City

2:30 Stop at University of Iowa University Services Building (1 W Prentiss St, Iowa City)
— News conference to discuss solar opportunities and view solar array.
Speakers will include Tim Dwight, Liz Christiansen (UI Director of Sustainability) and possibly others

(Transportation back to Cedar Rapids will be arranged, if necessary. Please contact one of the organizers.)

For more information, contact:
Iowa Policy Project – David Osterberg, at (319) 338-0773 or cell (319) 210-0570
Iowa Environmental Council – Nathaniel Baer, at (515) 244-1194
Environmental Law & Policy Center – Steve Falck, at (515) 244-3113