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Powering the Future

Our Strategy for a Cleaner Future

Girl looking into the SUN

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

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 Customer Forum held in May 2021.

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 now?

MPW recently updated its Strategic Plan setting 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.

carbon reduction targets graph

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.  A 30 MW, utility-scale solar farm is currently being investigated. We’re also evaluating the economics of a new gas-fired Combined Heat and Power (CHP) resource.  Planning is underway for the retirement of coal-fired Units 7, 8, and 8A in 2023.  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.

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

Reliability Affordability Flexibility Sustainability Bullet Points

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 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 dates and minutes from previous meetings can be found on our website
  3. Staff has been engaging directly with interested stakeholder groups upon request; most recently CLAM, Sierra Club, and Rotary, and will continue with any productive dialogue. The Power the Future presentation provided by Doug White 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 FAQs

Could an “All-source RFP” be used to help determine what mix of resources MPW should use in its power supply portfolio?

All-source RFP’s involve a process in which utilities issue requests for …..

How can our community reduce its carbon footprint most quickly?

 
MPW has announced aggressive carbon reduction goals for …..

Would buying energy from the grid be better for the climate than MPW’s Powering the Future Plan?

It has been suggested that MPW does not have any local fossil …..


text on a blue background strategy 4

THE LATEST INFORMATION

Sept 7 2021
MPW General Manager, Gage Huston, and Director of Customer and Technology Experience, Erika Cox, joined Ashley on the Muscatine Today Show! Powering the Future initiatives (shown at 8:16) and planned Fiber expansions (shown at 23:10) and our new website were discussed.

June 29 2021
MPW Board of Trustees meeting, Doug White, Director of Power Production and Supply, provided an update on two significant encroaching environmental regulations – ELG and 316(b) – that will impact MPW’s existing generating units.  He also reviewed upcoming compliance related decision points that involve the MPW Board of Trustees.

May 19 2021
MPW hosted a public forum to discuss goals and objectives resulting from the Utility’s Strategic Plan and laying the groundwork for a cleaner future.  Approximately 70 residents participated in the online WebEx meeting.  

VIDEOS

All Powering the Future FAQs

What are the biggest concerns with 100% renewable?  Learn more
How much involvement has MPW had in the “Choose Green” renewable energy program?  Learn more
Aren’t batteries the solution to intermittent renewables?  Learn more
What is the current percent of renewables now in MPW’s portfolio?  Learn more
Isn’t renewable energy free or very low cost?  Learn more
How will MPW approach environmental compliance between now and the proposed dates of generating unit retirements?  Learn more
Can Units 7, 8, and 8A be retired immediately?  Learn more
What is the size of the CHP Unit being considered to replace Unit 9?  Learn more
What is the timeline for the 30 MW solar farm?  Learn more
Will natural gas-fired plants be phased out soon?  Learn more
Won’t natural gas be phased out soon also, making gas-fired plants obsolete?  Learn more
What is the expected cost to rate payers, with the changes MPW is proposing with solar and gas generation?  Learn more