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Powering the Future

Our Strategy for a Cleaner Future

Evolve our power supply to maintain reliability, reduce environmental impact, optimize cost and risk, and meet customers’ evolving needs.

November 15, 2022 – MPW Enters Into Solar Power Purchase Agreement. Press Release
Watch Signing Event

Introduction

For decades, Muscatine Power and Water (MPW) has provided reliable energy to power our community’s growth and prosperity. We are as committed today as we were nearly 100 years ago to meeting the needs and expectations of our customers.

Our record of dedicated service extends beyond providing essential services. It is also reflected in the responsible and respectful treatment of our local natural resources. As we look to our future, MPW’s promise to customers continues to be reliable, cost-effective, and environmentally responsible services for the direct benefit of our community. In our Strategic Plan, MPW has set goals to reduce carbon emissions associated with local electric generation by at least 25% before 2024 and 65% by 2030 through the expansion of renewable energy sources and the transition from coal to natural gas generation.

These bold targets are not the easy path. But, at MPW, we strive to do what is needed for our community – no matter how difficult the task.

These bold targets are not the easy path. But, at MPW, we strive to do what is needed for our community – no matter how difficult the task.

65% Reduction in Carbon Emissions by 2030

PTF PP SLIDE

Questions have been developed to help our customers understand this important transition.  Those will be shared in our FAQs below.  Power Point slides you may see throughout this page and within our FAQs were part of our initial Customer Forum held in 2021 or subsequent material presented at monthly Board Meetings or other special customer-focused events.

This transition will be years in the making. New questions will be added throughout this transition.  As investigation of the Objectives noted above continues, answers will be updated to reflect the most current information available to us. Our goal is to keep our customers informed and in support of MPW’s efforts to create a balanced energy portfolio supporting our customers’ energy needs.


General Information

Why is MPW considering making changes?

MPW’s Strategic Plan sets a bold new path for local power generation. Backed by a Power Supply Study (PSS) completed by industry experts evaluating industry best practices, specific objectives are still being vetted.  However, the direction is clear – MPW will continue to expand its portfolio of renewables and has set aggressive targets for carbon emission reduction.

Several initiatives are currently underway to help enable our transition. To reduce MPW’s environmental impact, coal-fired generation will be phased out by 2030, use of renewables will be increased, and we’ll utilize more efficient, cleaner burning natural gas.  An up to 30 MW, utility-scale solar farm is being investigated. We’re also evaluating the economics of a new gas-fired Combined Heat and Power (CHP) resource.  In the near term, coal-fired Units 7, 8, and 8A will transition to peaking units, running only when needed to meet peak grid load.  With adequate replacement power in place, we foresee our last coal-fired unit, Unit 9, can be shut down by the end of the decade. This transition will allow for customer choice by providing increased opportunities to participate in the Choose Green Muscatine program while keeping rates as low as possible for all residents.

Reliability Affordability Flexibility Sustainability Bullet Points

Multiple factors will drive decision-making about MPW’s future energy portfolio.

In planning out the future of MPW’s power supply, we are evaluating our options based on a balanced approach. We evaluate the impacts of any plan on these primary factors – RELIABILITY, AFFORDABILITY, FLEXIBILITY, and SUSTAINABILITY. Prioritizing one single element above all others can cause significant compromises in the other elements. For example, while MPW agrees that sustainability must play a role in MPW’s power supply plans, it cannot cause a significant risk to the other factors, such as Reliability and Affordability.

Is MPW’s proposed new generation plan “balanced” as noted above?
MPW’s Proposed Plan “checks all the boxes” for RELIABILITY, AFFORDABILITY, FLEXIBILITY, SUSTAINABILITY

  • Upgrade transmission lines to support system reliability – new Line 106 currently under construction
  • Investigate adding up to 30 MW of solar
  • Replace our current coal-fired generating units with a natural gas CHP unit
  • Leave part of our energy portfolio “open”. Purchase a portion of our energy needs out of the market and let other new technologies further develop.

How do I stay updated on what’s going on with Powering the Future changes at MPW?

  1. MPW will continue to engage – and share information with – our customers throughout this process. That is one of the great benefits of having a municipal utility! MPW has a desire and an obligation to communicate openly with our customers about major decisions and we will continue to do so.
  2. Public updates of the power supply study investigations are provided at MPW’s monthly Board Meetings, which are open to the public.  Monthly Board Meeting dates and minutes from previous meetings can be found on our website
  3. Staff has been engaging directly with interested stakeholder groups upon request such as, Muscatine Board of REALTORS, Kiwanis Club, Rotary Club, PEO, CLAM and Sierra Club. If your club or organization would like to learn more, please contact us. The Power the Future presentation provided to the Muscatine Rotary Club can be seen on Muscatine Power and Water’s YouTube channel or on the Rotary’s public YouTube page.

Have Questions?

Remember, MPW is your local, non-profit utility.  We live here, too, and you can always feel free to ask us anything, anytime.  For accurate information, go right to the source.

Newly Added or Updated FAQs

How will electric bills change under MPW’s Balanced Plan and Under a 100% Renewable Plan? July 2022

MPW has proposed a balanced approach to supplying our community’s power in the decades to come. At a….

How do different resources compare in terms of energy produced? June 2022

View these easy to understand graphs on Capacity vs. Energy and its impacts on MPW.

What is the expected future of natural gas plants? May 2022

According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), natural gas, and even coal, will have a significant role in generation well past the forecast’s range. 

View All FAQs


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The Latest Information

MPW History of Sustainability, November 2022

At the recent Board of Directors monthly meeting, Gage Huston, General Manager, and Doug White, Director of Power Production and Supply, presented the Utility’s history of sustainability initiatives at a Sustainability Workshop.

MPW Enters Into Power Purchase Agreement for Muscatine Solar 1, November 2022

Muscatine Power and Water (MPW) moved another step closer toward the inclusion of solar as part of the Utility’s proposed power portfolio transition.

View all MPW PTF Press Releases

MPW Closer to Solar Installation, Diversified Portfolio, October 2022

Gage Huston, general manager, explained, “MPW isn’t just preparing the community for EVs, we are starting to transform our own business practices by incorporating environmentally responsible solutions for the utility fleet.”


Click here for Powering the Future Videos –>


All Powering the Future FAQs

How can our community reduce its carbon footprint most quickly? Learn more
How much involvement has MPW had in the “Choose Green” renewable energy program?  Learn more
Is renewable energy free or very low cost?  Learn more
Is the energy output of a megawatt of solar production capacity equal to the energy output of a megawatt of coal or gas turbine production capacity? Learn more
Can we use batteries to store energy from solar and serve our load at night? Learn more
Is renewable energy 100% environmentally friendly? Learn more
What are the biggest concerns with 100% renewable?  Learn more
Are batteries the solution to intermittent renewables?  Learn more
What is MISO and how does it work – sell in/buy out Learn more
Within MISO, what fuel mix (wind, solar, gas, coal, nuclear, etc.) is meeting today’s energy needs? Learn more
Would buying energy from the grid be better for the climate than MPW’s Powering the Future Plan? Learn more
What is the current percent of renewables now in MPW’s portfolio?  Learn more
What is the timeline for the 30 MW solar farm?  Learn more
Can Units 7, 8, and 8A be retired immediately?  Learn more
What is a CHP unit that is being considered to replace Unit 9? Why does a CHP unit have such high efficiency? Learn more
What is the size of the CHP Unit being considered to replace Unit 9?  Learn more
What is the expected future of natural gas plants? Learn more
How will MPW approach environmental compliance between now and the proposed dates of generating unit retirements?  Learn more
What is the expected cost to rate payers, with the changes MPW is proposing with solar and gas generation?  Learn more
How will electric bills change under MPW’s Balanced Plan and under a 100% Renewable Plan? Learn more
Could an “All-source RFP” be used to help determine what mix of resources MPW should use in its power supply portfolio? Learn more
How do different resources compare in terms of energy produced? Learn more
What is the feasibility of converting hydropower using the local lock and dam? Learn more