Ranger Power’s solar project in Clinton County will help improve the economic landscape, support local and regional businesses, and create additional revenue sources for the county.
The Project was unanimously approved by Clinton County in August 2023.
Local and Regional Businesses
The Hawkeye Solar Project is an approved utility-scale solar project being developed by Ranger Power in partnership with private landowners near the City of Grand Mound, Iowa. The project will generate clean, low-cost solar energy for families and businesses in Eastern Iowa – with the capacity to power more than 50,000 Iowa homes. It will maintain the character of the rural community while also contributing significant new tax revenue and creating local jobs during construction.
Iowa is a national leader when it comes to advancing clean energy, whether wind, solar, ethanol, or biodiesel. The Hawkeye Solar Project will provide direct benefits to Clinton County residents and help the state maintain and even build on this leadership in the years to come.
Ranger Power is a solar development company focused on projects across the Midwest. We pride ourselves on working closely with neighbors and other stakeholders to develop projects the local community can be proud of for years to come.
The project will generate substantial new tax revenue every year for the benefit of the surrounding community, to help fund local schools, public safety services, and other services and infrastructure. The project is also expected to create more than 200 construction jobs, and construction activity will, in turn, create further economic activity in the area benefiting local restaurants, hotels, shops, etc.
How much tax revenue will the solar project contribute?The Hawkeye Solar Project is expected to contribute over $18 million in new taxes to Clinton County over the life of the project. This revenue will help fund local schools, public safety, other infrastructure and services. The project is a private investment and comes at no cost to Clinton County.
How many jobs will the solar project create?The Hawkeye Solar Project is expected to create hundreds of local jobs and millions of dollars in construction-related spending.
What will be the environmental impact of the solar project?The Hawkeye Solar Project as a whole will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by hundreds of thousands of metric tons annually, which is equivalent to taking over 100,000 cars off of the road.
How much energy will the Hawkeye Solar Project produce?In total, the project will produce enough clean, renewable energy to power nearly 75,000 Iowa homes. The project also includes a battery energy storage system capable of discharging 75MW of electricity for up to four hours.
How much land will the solar project take up?The Hawkeye Solar Project is expected to be sited within ~2,250 acres of privately owned land. Solar projects are modular by design, which allows the layout to avoid impacts to sensitive resource areas. There is also wide spacing between arrays, approximately 12-20 feet, to allow areas for native grass species and pollinators to grow.
Is the solar project voluntary for landowners?Participation is entirely voluntary and does not have the ability to use eminent domain. Although allowing farmland to lie fallow beneath a solar project is also a good way to preserve farmland for future generations, we respect the fact that some landowners may choose not to participate. We are committed to working constructively and transparently to negotiate voluntary partnerships with landowners that provide value to residents and allow our project to move forward.
Is a solar project safe?Yes. As a clean, renewable energy source, solar energy is not only good for the environment, but also safe for landowners and the communities where they live, work, and raise their families. Solar energy is one of the lowest-impact forms of energy production because they are low to the ground, noiseless, do not produce greenhouse gas emissions, do not create odors or harmful byproducts, and can withstand catastrophic weather events. Solar panels will not release any toxic or hazardous substances into the environment, and no such substances are used during operation of the project. They also do not deplete natural resources or cause environmental damage through resource extraction and transportation. In addition, solar panels do not use significant amounts of water during operation, keeping this water available for farming and other essential activities.
What are the benefits of adding battery storage to the Hawkeye Solar Project? Is it safe?Battery energy storage systems provide additional reliability to the grid. They can store renewable energy like solar during the day, and then release it when Iowans need it most. Ranger Power’s first priority is safety. Each battery container will be constructed of non-combustible material, and battery storage modules will be comprised of proven lithium iron phosphate storage technology. Units will be low voltage, encased in a steel enclosure, and set apart from combustible materials. The battery will also have fire rating in conformance with applicable standards and specialized fire suppression systems installed, as well as cooling systems within each unit.
What is Ranger Power doing to ensure the battery is operating to standard?Through remote monitoring, project staff will certify the battery stays within optimal operating bands to ensure both safety and long-term performance. Information such as temperature, battery state of charge, and system warnings will be monitored 24/7. Local technicians will be on standby should any maintenance be required
Will local emergency services be equipped to handle an incident?Ranger Power will coordinate with emergency services staff to provide materials, education, and/or training to departments serving the property with emergency services. Specifically, this will include the Grand Mound Volunteer Fire Department, Calamus Volunteer Fire Department, and mutual aid partner fire departments. Each will receive all pertinent information in case of a fire or emergency on site to ensure safe operation and adequate emergency response. This will include, but is not limited to, specific training, 24-hour contact information, access to lock boxes, access point locations, the locations of shut-offs, and circulation patterns. All fire departments will be updated regarding changes to the above information and any new fire department staff will be given an annual tour.
Do the solar panels make noise?Solar panels have no moving parts and do not create sound. Inverters make a slight hum but will be placed inside the project area, far from the border, and so would be inaudible to anyone outside the project boundary.
Do the solar panels get very hot?Solar panels do not produce a great deal of heat, but like any surface, could be warm to the touch on a hot sunny day. The panels return to ambient temperature at night.
Do the solar panels cause glare?Solar panel technology is designed to absorb the sun’s rays rather than reflect them, which means that PV solar panels are less reflective than water or window glass. Solar panel glare has primarily been a concern only for the aviation industry. The Ranger team has successfully sited these projects on or near airports within FAA regulations.
Is the land restored after the solar project is no longer operating?Solar projects are a temporary use of the land. As per our lease agreements and county requirements, we are required to restore the land to its pre-existing condition. There will be a decommissioning bond, or money set aside, to ensure that funds are available to take care of restoration obligations.
Who is Ranger Power?Ranger Power is a solar development company focused on projects across the Midwest. We are currently developing the Hawkeye Solar Project and pride ourselves on working closely with neighbors and other stakeholders to develop projects the local community can be proud of for years to come.
PANEL ROWS WILL BE
Rows of panels are separated by open space to prevent shading. Even when panels are flat at midday, a pick-up truck can safely drive between rows.
PANELS WILL BE ABOUT AS TALL AS FULL-GROWN CORN
With the panels positioned to catch the morning or evening sun, the height of the panels will be similar to that of full-grown corn.
When panels are flat at midday, they will be well below the height of full-grown corn.