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Powering the Future

MPW's Strategy For A Cleaner Tomorrow

Reliability. Affordability. Flexibility. Sustainability. These are more than just words on a page – they represent MPW’s fundamental responsibilities to our community.

For over 100 years, MPW has provided reliable and affordable energy to power our community’s growth and prosperity. Looking ahead to the next 100 years, it’s more important than ever to also be flexible and sustainable with our energy sources while maintaining our signature reliability and affordability.

Join us on our journey. Learn more about MPW’s Powering the Future Strategy and how Muscatine’s power supply is evolving.

The Strategy

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

Through ongoing power supply studies, completed by industry experts, MPW staff and leadership have developed our Powering the Future strategy to set a bold new path for local power generation, and the utility’s critical position in the national electric grid. Some specific objectives are still being studied and vetted, but the direction is clear – MPW will continue to expand its portfolio of renewables and has set aggressive targets for lower carbon emissions.

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

In planning MPW’s future power supply, we are using a balanced approach to evaluating options based on four factors – reliability, affordability, flexibility and sustainability. While each is important, prioritizing a single element above the other three would significantly compromise effective implementation.

MPW’s strategy continues to evolve. In addition to professional power supply studies and government policy and incentives, feedback from customers plays a huge role in decision-making.

Taking all that into consideration, MPW recommends:

Pursue Development of Small-scale CHP Unit • Seek to optimize IRA tax incentives
• Investigate flex fuel options (natural gas, fuel oil, hydrogen)
• Size natural gas interconnection to provide flexibility for the future
• Make efforts to reuse existing interconnection rights
Pursue Additional Renewable Resources • Monitor market to determine optimal time to issue renewable Request for Proposal (RFP)
• Investigate combinate of both solar and wind alternatives
• Preference for local projects, but entertain projects in MISO Zone 3
• Monitor storage technology development
• Optimize Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) tax incentives
Pursue Effluent Limit Guidelines Compliance (ELG) Strategies for Unit 9 • Further investigate Flue Gas Desulfurization (FGD) compliance options and select best alternative
• Conduct demonstration testing
• Target compliance around mid-2028
• Identify and complete necessary plant reliability projects
Continue to Evaluate Power Supply Options • Continue to evaluate power supply options on a 3-5 year basis
• Continue to evaluate alternatives that further reduce carbon emissions while still achieving Reliability and Affordability goals
Continue Energy Efficiency Services • Continue to provide staff resources, expertise, and rebate incentives to help customers of all classes reduce their energy usage
Continue to Investigate Demand Response Alternatives • Continue to evaluate demand response programs that could strike the right balance of reducing costs associated with peak loads without being unreasonably disruptive to customers


MPW’s award-winning reliability is no accident. Our reinvestment in local generating assets, transmission and distribution infrastructure, animal protection protocols, and investment in staff training and education keeps Muscatine’s lights on. Despite the continuing changes in how power is generated and transmitted across the grid, MPW continues to maintain high reliability statistics.

2022 Reliability Stats

MPW’s reliability continues to be recognized at the highest level. Once again, in 2022, the American Public Power Association (APPA) designated the Utility as a Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3©). Learn more in this press release.


MPW has consistently provided power at rates below state and national averages and any plan must consider affordability, so we are ever mindful about the impact any change in power generation will have on customers’ utility bills. As a non-profit organization, our primary goal is to provide reliable and cost-effective utility services to our customers – not profits for shareholders.

MPW is singularly focused on the Muscatine area. Unlike other large utility companies, we don’t have to compete with other divisions for resources or sacrifice local priorities.

This structure allows MPW to focus on minimizing costs and passing on savings to customers. We are continually investing in utility infrastructure, and where possible, pursuing partnerships with the City of Muscatine to realize efficiencies and cost savings on mutually beneficial projects.

As one of the key factors in our balanced approach to Power the Future, affordability must be considered equally in the strategy and implementation, along with reliability, flexibility, and sustainability. For example, sustainability is often cited as a priority for some, and while it is one of our considerations, it cannot overpower other factors like reliability and affordability.

The graphic below provides a great comparison of how a 100% renewable approach would affect customers’ bills as opposed to a balanced mix of energy sources.

energy bill comparisons graphic for residential small business and commercial customers
Important Notes: 1. Transmission costs to interconnect new generation are indeterminable; however, could be tens of millions of dollars for 100% renewable option. As a result, related pricing is based on not putting excess renewable generation on grid. 2. The feasibility of a green-hydrogen-fueled combined heat and power unit is highly uncertain…the technology is not available at this time. 3. All amounts are estimated and subject to assumptions; however, the magnitude of the increased rates is anticipated.

To learn more, visit our Electric Rates page.


The energy industry is undergoing considerable change. In the coming years, emerging technologies will fundamentally change how power is produced. That’s why we’re keeping an “open” portion in our power generation portfolio. A flexible supply of energy sources is vital to adapting to these changes and allows MPW to secure energy at the lowest possible price for our customers.

Whether we purchase power out of the market, or produce our own, we are able to pivot to provide the lowest rates possible, while maintaining reliability.


Renewable power generation will play a significant role in the future. At MPW, we are embracing this transformational change in the energy industry by investing in Muscatine Solar 1 – MPW’s first utility-scale solar array. Construction on the 24 megawatt (MW) array is to begin in 2024 with an operational target of Q4 2025. Our investment today helps lay the foundation for a sustainable and cleaner tomorrow.

To further reduce MPW’s environmental impact, the existing generation fleet will transition to a lower carbon-emitting portfolio. Units 7 and 8 have transitioned to “peaking units” which only run when needed to meet grid load. The decommissioning process for Unit 8A has already began.

The retirements of Units 7 and 8, the addition of Muscatine Solar 1 and a natural gas-fired CHP unit will help reduce carbon emissions by at least 25% by 2024 and 65% by 2030.

You Can Be a Renewable Energy Leader

As an MPW customer, you can make a difference in securing a greener future right away! Reducing your own energy consumption and participation in programs like Choose Green Muscatine help lower emissions. Increased renewable energy resources, like Muscatine Solar 1, will provide additional opportunities for customers to participate in the Choose Green Muscatine program while keeping rates as low as possible for all residents.

stratosphere image of solar 1 site
1. Global emissions data sourced from Climate Action Tracker: Global emissions time series, published 11/6/21. Values represent percent reduction from calendar year 2005 baseline emissions. 2. Values represent reduction in global emissions consistent with the Paris Agreement’s goal to hold the increase in global average temperature to below 2.0 degrees C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit temperature increase to 1.5 degrees C. Data sourced from Climate Action Tracker. Climate Analytics and NewClimate Institute. 3. MPW’s total emissions include CO2 emissions associated with market purchases. Market Purchase emissions estimated based on emission rates (CO2-Ton/MWh) projected for MISOWEST region. Projection data sourced from U.S. Energy Information Administration 2022 Annual Energy Outlook Report, releases 3/3/2022.

To learn more, visit MPW’s Renewable Energy page.

Powering the Future News

MPW’s Powering the Future initiative will take years to implement. As a standing Board of Trustees agenda item, the Powering the Future initiative is top of mind. Our goal is to keep customers informed as we go through this transition. Customers are encouraged to check this website often for updates.


MPW’s Powering the Future initiative will take years to implement. As a standing Board of Trustees agenda item, the Powering the Future initiative is top of mind. Our goal is to keep customers informed as we go through this transition. Customers are encouraged to check this website often for updates.

Powering the Future FAQs

What is the timeline for the 24 MW solar farm?  Learn more
What is the current percent of renewables now in MPW’s portfolio?  Learn more
Is renewable energy free or very low cost?  Learn more
Is the energy output from renewables the same as the energy output from fossil fuels? Learn more
Are batteries the solution to intermittent renewables?  Learn more
Can Muscatine rely 100% on renewable energy resources?  Learn more
What is the Midcontinent Independent System Operator and why is it important? Learn more
What is the outlook for MPW’s current and future generating assets? 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
Would buying energy from the grid be better for the climate than MPW’s Powering the Future Plan? Learn more
How can our community reduce its carbon footprint? Learn more
How much customer involvement has there been for the “Choose Green” renewable energy program?  Learn more
Will my MPW bill go up with MPW’s new mixed resource energy 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
What is the feasibility of converting hydropower using the local lock and dam? Learn more
Is renewable energy 100% environmentally friendly? Learn more