Senator Charles Grassley (R) met with members of the Iowa Solar Trade Association Tuesday at the Washington County Fairgrounds, where solar panels are used to help power the buildings. (Photo by Sally Y. Hart)
What do area farmers, a school board president and a former professional football player have in common? They all met with Senator Chuck Grassley (R) in Washington Tuesday to advocate for solar energy. The senator met with members of the Iowa Solar Energy Trade Association at the Washington County Fairgrounds, where he was able to see multiple solar arrays in use.
Tim Dwight, former NFL player now solar energy advocate, says Iowa is seeing growth in the industry, “It’s amazing, we want America to be at the front of it. We’re doing it right here in Iowa.” He added he’s lived across the country, “You know what we’re doing in Iowa? We’re building a heck of a solar industry here. We’ve got good businesses here. You know, in the last three years we’ve got 40 businesses doing solar. It’s pretty good, when people look down on Iowa, and you know what I’m talking about because you’ve been around the area. And it’s frustrating, but we’re doing great things. They’re, ‘Wow, you guys are putting megawatts?’ And we’re like, ‘Yeah, we’re putting megawatts!”
Dwight told Grassley that he’d like to see deregulation, to be even with other energy industries in the U.S., “An equal playing field, that’s what we want. … So, if you want to move this thing, deregulate, open the market. We want that, because we know smarter people are coming into this market to make it better.”
Grassley encouraged those in attendance to contact his office to continue to advocate for their interests. In 2013 the Washington County Fairgrounds installed their solar panels to power the buildings on the grounds and the fair, the first fairgrounds in the state to do so.
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