January 1, 2023 at 7:00 a.m
“There is a growing awareness that industrial wind and solar energy require large areas, which means transmitting energy over greater distances,” Fred Hubler said in a recent letter. What he means by “greater distances” can be understood if we consider what it would take to replace the once operational and reliable 600 megawatt (MW) Duane Arnold Energy Center with solar and batteries.
A 7,200 MW solar farm covering 36,000 acres and a 13,200 MWh battery covering 132 acres are required to reliably supply 600 megawatts of power 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This is for optimal weather conditions. However, here in Iowa we can go days without seeing the sun. This means that the above figures considerably underestimate the actual amount of land and transmission requirements for this renewable energy dependence.